Hillfort at Fox Covert, 550m north east of Lamyatt Lodge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016303

Date first listed: 03-Mar-1977

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Sep-1997


Ordnance survey map of Hillfort at Fox Covert, 550m north east of Lamyatt Lodge
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Somerset

District: Mendip (District Authority)

Parish: Lamyat

County: Somerset

District: Mendip (District Authority)

Parish: Milton Clevedon

National Grid Reference: ST 66610 36648


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Slight univallate hillforts are defined as enclosures of various shapes, generally between 1ha and 10ha in size, situated on or close to hilltops and defined by a single line of earthworks, the scale of which is relatively small. They date to between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth - fifth centuries BC), the majority being used for 150 to 200 years prior to their abandonment or reconstruction. Slight univallate hillforts have generally been interpreted as stock enclosures, redistribution centres, places of refuge and permanent settlements. The earthworks generally include a rampart, narrow level berm, external ditch and counterscarp bank, while access to the interior is usually provided by two entrances comprising either simple gaps in the earthwork or an inturned rampart. Postholes revealed by excavation indicate the occasional presence of portal gateways while more elaborate features like overlapping ramparts and outworks are limited to only a few examples. Internal features included timber or stone round houses; large storage pits and hearths; scattered postholes, stakeholes and gullies; and square or rectangular buildings supported by four to six posts, often represented by postholes, and interpreted as raised granaries. Slight univallate hillforts are rare with around 150 examples recorded nationally. Although on a national scale the number is low, in Devon they comprise one of the major classes of hillfort. In other areas where the distribution is relatively dense, for example, Wessex, Sussex, the Cotswolds and the Chilterns, hillforts belonging to a number of different classes occur within the same region. Examples are also recorded in eastern England, the Welsh Marches, central and southern England. In view of the rarity of slight univallate hillforts and their importance in understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities, all examples which survive comparatively well and have potential for the recovery of further archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance.

Despite some damage from quarrying and past ploughing, the slight univallate hillfort at Fox Covert survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental remains relating to the hillfort and the landscape in which it was constructed.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort at Fox Covert situated at the west end of a steep sided spur. The earthworks enclose approximately 3.25ha and are for the most part determined by the natural contours, except at the east end where they cut across the spur. The approach at the east end is almost level and the defences here include a substantial outer ditch 7.5m wide, that was recorded as being 1.8m deep in 1975, but which has since been largely backfilled with modern building material. Behind the ditch is a slight bank about 0.3m high which has been much reduced by ploughing. There are two gaps in the defences on this side, one of which may represent an original entrance. An old quarry pit, approximately 20m long and 7m wide, occupies the south east corner and has obliterated all signs of the defences at this point. The remainder of the defences run along or just below the edge of the spur. On the north and west sides these consist of a scarp, a ditch and a low counterscarp bank. These terminate on the west side at a point of later quarrying and survive best on the north side where the ditch is approximately 3m wide and the height from the bottom of the ditch to the top of the scarp is approximately 1.8m. The counterscarp bank is up to 3m wide and 1m high in places, although elsewhere it is only 0.3m high. The south and south west sides are formed by simple scarping. This is clearly in evidence on the south side but is less pronounced on the south west side. Just inside the hillfort, on the west side, is a subcircular mound 14m in diameter and 0.8m high with a slight hollow in the centre. This has been interpreted as a bowl barrow, but is immediately adjacent to an area of modern quarrying. Excluded from the scheduling are the triangulation point, all drystone walls and fence and gate posts, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 29780

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing