Norbury Camp hillfort


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018167

Date first listed: 17-Aug-1948

Date of most recent amendment: 29-Apr-1998


Ordnance survey map of Norbury Camp hillfort
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Gloucestershire

District: Cotswold (District Authority)

Parish: Colesbourne

National Grid Reference: SO 98972 14970


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 erosion to the monument caused by cultivation, Norbury Camp hillfort will contain archaeological and environmental remains relating to the hillfort and the landscape in which it was constructed.


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


The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated on a hilltop in the centre of the Cotswolds. The hillfort has a sub-oval interior of approximately 3.25ha which rises gently towards the centre. Surrounding the enclosed area is a single rampart, comprising a bank and an outer ditch. These survive best in the south where the bank is 6.5m wide and up to 1.4m high and the ditch is 7.5m wide and 1m deep. On the north east and south west sides the bank has been largely ploughed away and the ditch has become infilled, although it will continue to survive as a buried feature. In the north west corner is a depression caused by later stone quarrying. Beyond this, traces of the ditch are visible along the north west side but cease adjacent to a brick lined water reservoir. Aerial photographs suggest that the entrance to the hillfort was at the northern end of the north east side. The water reservoir, the make-up of a track that runs across the hillfort, adjacent to the south west rampart, and all fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features 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: 29790

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing