Hickley Wood hillfort


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017888

Date first listed: 12-Jul-1979

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jun-1998


Ordnance survey map of Hickley Wood hillfort
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hampshire

District: Eastleigh (District Authority)

Parish: West End

National Grid Reference: SU 47416 13841


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 disturbance by subsequent gravel extraction, the extant defensive components and interior ground surfaces of the slight univallate hillfort at Hickley Wood indicate that archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the hillfort's original construction and later use will survive. The linear bank and trackway features associated with the hillfort are indicators of the site's later use, probably as medieval woodlands. The hillfort's urban location within a public access conservation area, and in which an Armada beacon is also situated, gives it significance as a public amenity.


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


The monument includes the remains of a slight univallate hillfort constructed on a gravel-capped spur which projects east from a gravel plateau. The hillfort, the western limit of which has not been precisely defined, was constructed approximately 250m from the end of the spur and is likely to have been roughly rectangular or oval in shape. It slopes steeply on the north and south sides but is easily approached along the spur from the east and west. The width of the hillfort across the spur is approximately 130m; the length is unknown but is likely to have been about 190m. Gravel extraction has caused disturbance to the monument and the interior of the hillfort survives only as an irregular strip of high ground immediately within the ramparts and as several remnant mounds of the original ground surface, now raised up to 4m above the quarried ground level. Surrounding the interior, the defensive circuit survives in various states of preservation. A section of the defences survives in good condition on the south and south east sides as a 2m-3m high rampart, an infilled ditch and 1m high counterscarp bank. A possible outer infilled ditch or trackway survives at the south east corner, and traces of a probable quarry ditch survive within the rampart on the south side. Discontinuous sections of truncated rampart or steepened scarp survive on heavily disturbed ground along the north and north west sides of the hillfort, while traces of an infilled ditch and an area of high ground and mature vegetation indicate the likely location of ramparts on the south west side. A probable entrance to the hillfort from the east is now buried beneath the gravel track which crosses the site. A staggered entrance with outworks is indicated by an apparent eastward projection of the rampart north of the track. Later banks and ditches, enclosing medieval woodland and areas of common and heath, skirt the hillfort to the north and south east and extend onto the ramparts at the eastern and western ends. A relationship between these woodlands and a medieval manor house known as `God's House' at Hickley Farm has been suggested. A 5m-7m wide trackway approaches the hillfort from the east and skirts around the south east rampart. These bank and trackway features are included within the scheduling where they abut or run adjacent to the hillfort. A shallow dewpond is located within the interior of the hillfort. The surface of the gravel track that crosses the monument is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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: 31152

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Farwell, D, Hampshire County Cricket Club New Grounds. Arch Field Evaluation, (1997)
Kaye, E, 'So'ton Rec. Series' in The Cartulary of God's House, Southampton, , Vol. XIX, (1976), 158-165
SHARG, M27 Chilworth-Windhover, Archaeological Implications, 1975,
SHARG, M27 Chilworth-Windhover, Archaeological Implications, 1975,
Title: South Stoneham Tithe Awards and Map Source Date: 1844 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing