Remains of Iron Age fort on Bloodgate Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018342

Date first listed: 28-Mar-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 27-Apr-1998


Ordnance survey map of Remains of Iron Age fort on Bloodgate Hill
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Norfolk

District: King's Lynn and West Norfolk (District Authority)

Parish: South Creake

National Grid Reference: TF 84827 35264


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.

The known examples of earthwork enclosures in Norfolk which correspond to the hillforts of the upland regions of England are relatively few in number, and most were constructed in low-lying, though naturally defensible locations. All but one of them are located in the north western part of the county. The enclosure on Bloodgate Hill has the characteristics of a slight univallate hillfort, and is a good example of this type of monument in a lowland setting. Although reduced by cultivation, the remains of the bank are still visible and the ditch is known to survive as a largely buried feature beneath the ploughsoil. The crop marks recorded on aerial photographs show that in the interior of the fort, also, there are buried remains of a substantial circular structure, and it is likely that other, smaller features survive in the subsoil here. The monument will therefore retain archaeological information concerning the date and manner of the construction and occupation of the fort, and it has wider importance in relation to the other surviving Iron Age forts in the area, which include an enclosure of similar type at Holkham, some 8.5km to the north, and a small multivallate enclosure at Warham, 11 km to the north east. As a group, these are a source of comparative information of great value for the study of Iron Age settlement and society in this part of East Anglia.


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


The monument includes the remains of a roughly circular earthwork enclosure, formerly known as Burgh Dykes or Burrow Dykes, which survive under ploughsoil on a hill on the west side of the valley of the River Burn, 1.2km from the river. The enclosure, which is identified as an Iron Age fort and has an internal diameter of approximately 200m, is surrounded by a ditch which is now largely infilled, although parts of it on the east and west sides are still marked by hollows up to 22m wide in the ground surface, and it is visible as a cropmark on aerial photographs. On the south side of the monument the outer edge of the ditch is skirted by roads. An internal bank, recorded on a 17th century map and also on maps made in the early 19th century, as well as in 18th century descriptions, was reduced and ploughed in the first half of the 19th century, but the line of it can be traced as a light coloured soil mark on the remains of the outer face, which is visible as a scarp up to 1m in height. The surface of the interior of the enclosure is between 0.8m and 1.4m higher than the external ground level. The maps of the earthwork made when the bank was still standing show a single entrance on the east side, corresponding to a causeway across the ditch which can be seen on aerial photographs. The recorded crop marks also reveal that the terminal of the ditch on the north side of this causeway turns inward. At the highest point within the fort, slightly to the west of centre, are the buried remains of a ring ditch approximately 45m in overall diameter, also recorded from crop marks and marking the site of a substantial inner enclosure.

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: 30538

Legacy System: RSM


Letter in file, 1910: West Norfolk, South Creake, (1988)
Norfolk Archaeological Unit, TF 8435/AL/APT 13, (1988)
Norfolk Archaeological Unit, TF 8435/W, (1973)
Norfolk Archaeological Unit, TF 8435/Y/ADR 1, (1975)
Title: The Description of South Cryke...being the west part thereof Source Date: 1630 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Norf R O MC/691/1

End of official listing