Hillbury hillfort


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017797

Date first listed: 30-Nov-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Dec-1997


Ordnance survey map of Hillbury hillfort
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 15-Nov-2018 at 04:06:00.


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

County: Surrey

District: Guildford (District Authority)

Parish: Puttenham

National Grid Reference: SU 91101 46837


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 subsequent disturbance, Hillbury hillfort survives comparatively well and will retain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and original use.


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


The monument includes a univallate hillfort situated on a greensand spur which forms part of Puttenham Common. The hillfort defences enclose the spur end, forming a north-south aligned, sub-rectangular interior area of around 2ha. The most impressive defences are to the east, where they were constructed across the level ground which forms the neck of the spur. They survive as a bank up to 12m wide and 2m high, flanked by an outer ditch up to 8m wide and 0.75m deep. The northern and southern ramparts were designed to accentuate the naturally sloping spur edges, whilst the steep sided, western edge of the spur made the construction of artificial defences in this area unnecessary. Access to the interior was by way of a simple, causewayed, 13m wide gap through the central part of the ramparts. The defences have been disturbed in places by the subsequent construction and use of more recent tracks and paths. Buried remains associated with the original use of the monument, including traces of houses, compounds, granaries and storage pits, can be expected to survive within the hillfort's interior.

The monument shows signs of later remodelling and reuse, represented by a 7m wide, roughly north-south aligned, curving bank constructed across the western side of the hillfort. This has been dated to the medieval period, when the hillfort may have been in use as a stock enclosure.

The western half of the hillfort has been quite heavily disturbed by the construction of a group of slit trenches and pits during World War II, when the spur formed part of an army training area.

All modern fences which cross the monument, and the two wooden waymarker posts situated on the western side of the hillfort, are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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: 29296

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing