Hillfort 320m north east of Castle Barn Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018170

Date first listed: 08-Nov-1928

Date of most recent amendment: 29-Apr-1998


Ordnance survey map of Hillfort 320m north east of Castle Barn Farm
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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: Dowdeswell

National Grid Reference: SO 99843 19120


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 cultivation erosion, the slight univallate hillfort 320m north east of Castle Barn Farm will contain archaeological and environmental remains relating to the hillfort, the landscape in which it was constructed and its subsequent use.


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


The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated on a north west facing spur. The hillfort has a sub-rectangular interior of approximately 6ha which slopes gently to the north west and which is divided by a probably medieval lynchet. Surrounding the enclosed area, on the north west, south west and south sides, is a single rampart, comprising, for the most part, a bank and an outer ditch. These are best preserved on the south west side where the bank is 8m wide and up to 1.5m high and the ditch, which is in use as a track, is 7.5m wide and 1.4m deep. Along part of the north west side there is a low, 0.3m high, counter scarp bank outside of the ditch but elsewhere on this side the defences have been ploughed and are only visible as a low scarp. On the south side, only slight traces of the ditch are visible although it will continue to survive as a buried feature. On the north east side, the hillfort follows the contour of the steep sided spur, alongside which runs a probably medieval trackway, 9m wide, which may occupy the site of an earlier defensive ditch. The original entrance is likely to have been in the south east corner. Although the appearance of the site as a hillfort suggests an Iron Age date, both Roman and medieval pottery have been recovered from the interior. All modern field boundaries and all gates 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: 31183

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing