Iron Age promontory fort in Castlehill Wood


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017997

Date first listed: 30-Nov-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jun-1998


Ordnance survey map of Iron Age promontory fort in Castlehill Wood
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Dec-2018 at 17:30:09.


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

County: Surrey

District: Tandridge (District Authority)

Parish: Godstone

National Grid Reference: TQ 36303 50810


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

Reasons for Designation

Promontory forts are a type of hillfort in which conspicuous naturally defended sites are adapted as enclosures by the construction of one or more earth or stone ramparts placed across the neck of a spur in order to divide it from the surrounding land. Coastal situations, using headlands defined by steep natural cliffs, are common while inland similar topographic settings defined by natural cliffs are also used. The ramparts and accompanying ditches formed the main artificial defence, but timber palisades may have been erected along the cliff edges. Access to the interior was generally provided by an entrance through the ramparts. The interior of the fort was used intensively for settlement and related activities, and evidence for timber- and stone- walled round houses can be expected, together with the remains of buildings used for storage and enclosures for animals. Promontory forts are generally Iron Age in date, most having been constructed and used between the sixth century BC and the mid-first century AD. They are broadly contemporary with other types of hillfort. They are regarded as settlements of high status, probably occupied on a permanent basis, and recent interpretations suggest that their construction and choice of location had as much to do with display as defence. Promontory forts are rare nationally with less than 100 recorded examples. In view of their rarity and their importance in the understanding of the nature of social organisation in the later prehistoric period, all examples with surviving archaeological remains are considered nationally important.

Despite some subsequent disturbance, the promontory fort in Castlehill Wood survives comparatively well and will retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction and original use of the monument.


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


The monument includes a promontory fort situated on a spur which projects to the west from a sandstone hill around 1.4km to the south east of Godstone. The promontory fort's defences were constructed across the neck of the spur and survive as a NNE-SSW aligned, approximately 110m long, curving bank around 15m wide and 2.6m high, flanked to the east by an outer ditch up to 15m wide and 1.4m deep. The eastern edge of the ditch has been destroyed by the construction of the modern A22 Godstone bypass during the mid-1980s, and this area is therefore not included in the scheduling. Access to the interior of the fort was provided by a simple gap at the south western end of the ramparts. Contemporary buildings, storage pits and associated structures and features will have covered much of the steeply-sided spur top, and traces of these can be expected to survive in the form of below ground archaeological features. During World War II, the monument was used as an aircraft observation post, represented by a small trench dug into the southern sector of the monument.

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: 31389

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
O'Connell, M, Poulton, R, 'Surrey Archaeological Collections' in An Excavation at Castle Hill, Godstone, , Vol. 74, (1983), 213-215

End of official listing