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
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
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
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
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing