Ringsbury Camp hillfort


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018124

Date first listed: 07-Mar-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 23-Oct-1998


Ordnance survey map of Ringsbury Camp hillfort
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. 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.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Purton

National Grid Reference: SU 07487 86761

Reasons for Designation

Small multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of varying shape, generally between 1 and 5ha in size and located on hilltops. They are defined by boundaries consisting of two or more lines of closely set earthworks spaced at intervals of up to 15m. These entirely surround the interior except on sites located on promontories, where cliffs may form one or more sides of the monument. They date to the Iron Age period, most having been constructed and occupied between the sixth century BC and the mid-first century AD. Small multivallate hillforts are generally regarded as settlements of high status, occupied on a permanent basis. Recent interpretations suggest that the construction of multiple earthworks may have had as much to do with display as with defence. Earthworks may consist of a rampart alone or of a rampart and ditch which, on many sites, are associated with counterscarp banks and internal quarry scoops. Access to the interior is generally provided by one or two entrances, which either appear as simple gaps in the earthwork or inturned passages, sometimes with guardrooms. The interior generally consists of settlement evidence including round houses, four and six post structures interpreted as raised granaries, roads, pits, gullies, hearths and a variety of scattered post and stake holes. Evidence from outside numerous examples of small multivallate hillforts suggests that extra-mural settlement was of a similar nature. Small multivallate hillforts are rare with around 100 examples recorded nationally. Most are located in the Welsh Marches and the south-west with a concentration of small monuments in the north-east. In view of the rarity of small multivallate hillforts and their importance in understanding the nature of settlement and social organisation within the Iron Age period, all examples with surviving archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance.

Ringsbury Camp hillfort survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and economy, and the landscape in which it was built.


The monument includes a multivallate hillfort 450m west of Restrop Farm known as Ringsbury Camp. It is situated on an outcrop of coral rag with views over the clay plain southwards towards the Marlborough Downs. The monument is 3.4ha in extent and is defined by an inner bank up to 5m high surrounded by a ditch 3m deep. This in turn is surrounded by an outer bank 2m high. There is a single entrance to the east, widened by use as a cart track. A break in the outer bank at the north west corner is probably modern. In the same area an outer ditch is visible 0.7m deep, and a linear earthwork 0.5m high runs parallel to the outer ditch at a distance of 2m. A neolithic flint assemblage was found on the monument as well as an uninscribed gold coin depicting a disjointed horse and a wheel, probably Iron Age in date.

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: 28992

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing