Hillfort known as The Castle Fort at Castlebank Plantation


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017244

Date first listed: 24-Jan-1958

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Nov-1999


Ordnance survey map of Hillfort known as The Castle Fort at Castlebank Plantation
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Jan-2019 at 08:06:16.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Walsall (Metropolitan Authority)

National Grid Reference: SK 06204 03273


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.

The hillfort known as The Castle Fort forms a rarely recorded element of the Late Bronze Age and early Iron Age landscape of this area. It is well preserved with almost the entire circuit of earthworks surviving as upstanding and buried features. Despite some disturbance from the construction of the house and outbuildings, archaeological recording in advance of development in the 1980s and 1990s have indicated that archaeological remains survive within the hillfort. These will preserve evidence including buried land surfaces below the banks and other features such as storage pits or middens which will preserve artefacts and environmental deposits which will illuminate both the natural environment surrounding the monument during its occupancy, and also provide information about the diet and agricultural regimes followed by the inhabitants.

Archaeological deposits will also include evidence of the manner of the construction of the site, phases of repair, extension or later reworking of the defences and evidence of any structures which may have abutted the defences. Post hole remains of timber dwellings or other structures used for storage or small scale industrial processes will illuminate the main uses of the site and suggest the size of the population occupying it. In addition artefacts will allow consideration of the sources of raw materials and the range of trade or exchange contacts exploited by the occupants.


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


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the slight univallate hillfort at Castlebank Plantation. It is located on the crown of a hill, to the north west of Castle Hill Road.

A bank and outer ditch encloses a roughly oval area oriented south east to north west and measuring 170m long and 140m wide. The earthworks are best preserved on the north, east, south and parts of the west side, where the bank varies between 1m and 2m high and up to 8m wide, and the ditch is 1m to 2m wide and up to 4m deep. There are indications of a further ditch to the north east and south east, which suggest that the hillfort may originally have been bivallate with two rings of defences. Where there are small areas of erosion in the bank it can been seen that the bank was constructed from earth and river washed cobbles.

In the north west corner of the hillfort a deep former clay pit, now containing a pond has removed the traces of the banks and ditch, and an access drive cuts the earthworks on the south western angle. These are not included in the scheduling. Breaks in defences to the north east where the land slopes gently to the north suggest that this is an original entrance to the hillfort. In the south east on the external slope of the bank are the remains of deep quarry pits.

Small scale excavation and archaeological observation in advance of development undertaken in the 1980s and 1990s have indicated that archaeological remains survive within the hillfort despite the construction of the house and outbuildings.

Castle Fort, a jettied half timbered house with brick and stone was reconstructed on the hillfort having been moved from its original site in Wales. In addition, two imported timber framed barns are located within the banks at the crown of the hill.

Castle Fort, the timber framed barns and all modern paths and surfaces 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.


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

Legacy System number: 30056

Legacy System: RSM


Various SMR Officers, Various unpublished notes in SMR, Descriptive text

End of official listing