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Codford Circle hilltop enclosure

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Codford Circle hilltop enclosure

List entry Number: 1016558

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Codford

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 25-Mar-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Jul-1999

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 31667

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

Hilltop enclosures are defined as sub-rectangular or elongated areas of ground, usually between 10ha and 40ha in size, situated on hilltops or plateaux and surrounded by slight univallate earthworks. They date to between the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth-fifth centuries BC) and are usually interpreted as stock enclosures or sites where agricultural produce was stored. Many examples of hilltop enclosures may have developed into more strongly defended sites later in the Iron Age period and are therefore often difficult to recognise in their original form. The earthworks generally consist of a bank separated from an external ditch by a level berm. Access to the interior was generally provided by two or three entrances which consisted of simple gaps in the rampart. Evidence for internal features is largely dependent on excavation, and to date this has included large areas of sparsely scattered features including post and stakeholes, hearths and pits. Rectangular or square buildings are also evident; these are generally defined by between four and six postholes and are thought to have supported raised granaries. Hilltop enclosures are rare, with between 25 and 30 examples recorded nationally. A greater number may exist but these could have been developed into hillforts later in the Iron Age and could only be confirmed by detailed survey or excavation. The majority of known examples are located in two regions, on the chalk downland of Wessex and Sussex and in the Cotswolds. More scattered examples are found in north-east Oxfordshire and north Northamptonshire. This class of monument has not been recorded outside England. In view of the rarity of hilltop enclosures and their importance in understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities, all examples with surviving archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance.

Despite the ploughing of the enclosed area and sections of the ditch Codford Circle hilltop enclosure is a good example of this rare type of monument which will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the the economy of the people who built it and the landscape in which they lived.

History

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

Details

The monument includes Codford Circle, an earthwork hilltop enclosure situated on the crest of Codford Hill, a chalk promontory of Salisbury Plain overlooking the valley of the Chitterne Brook to the south east and the Wylye valley to the south. An elevated oval area of 3.6ha is surrounded by a bank 6.5m wide and up to 1.6m high from the outside. This is surrounded by a ditch 5m wide and up to 0.5m deep except for a section around the south eastern edge where it has been reduced by ploughing. Entrances to the south east and north west are modern. There is a small reservoir fenced off on the north side of the enclosed area and a triangulation pillar in the centre. Codford Circle was visited by Sir Richard Colt Hoare who records that it was known locally as Oldbury Camp. The reservoir structure and all fenceposts are excluded from the scheduling, 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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Colt Hoare, R, The Ancient History of Wiltshire: Volume I, (1812), 80

National Grid Reference: ST 98247 40558

Map

Map
© 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 above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1016558 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 20-Apr-2018 at 12:36:23.

End of official listing