Circular enclosure 300m north east of Forest Field


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018360

Date first listed: 04-Mar-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Nov-1998


Ordnance survey map of Circular enclosure 300m north east of Forest Field
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Leicestershire

District: North West Leicestershire (District Authority)

Parish: Belton

National Grid Reference: SK 45171 19984


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 remains of the circular hilltop enclosure 300m north east of Forest Field survive particularly well as a series of substantial and largely undisturbed earthworks and buried features. The waterlogged nature of the eastern side of the ditch will ensure the preservation of organic deposits relating to the construction and use of the site. The enclosure represents a particularly unusual survival in an area of otherwise intensive arable cultivation. As a result of the recovery of pottery from the central platform, the ditch enclosing it and the surrounding fields, the remains are quite well understood and will provide a good insight into the use and adaptation of the site over a period of time.


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


The monument includes the remains of a small Iron Age defended enclosure situated on the summit of a hill approximately 300m north east of Forest Field.

The enclosure comprises a ditch defining an asymmetric, curvilinear platform measuring approximately 100m east to west and 80m north to south. The ditch is a maximum of 8m in width and 1.5m in depth, with a `U'-shaped profile. It is waterlogged on its eastern side. A slight mound on the outer edge of the north western rim of the ditch is considered to represent the remains of a counterscarp bank. The orientation of the earthwork in relation to the road, the layout of adjacent field boundaries, and erosion to the north western side of the ditch and counterscarp all suggest that the original entrance was located on this side. There are also barely discernible traces of an intermittent bank on the inner edge of the ditch, probably comprising spoil from its exacavation or re-cutting. The internal platform enclosed by the ditch also shows evidence of subsequent medieval cultivation in the form of very faint ridge and furrow.

A small trench excavated on the platform in 1954 recovered predominantly Iron Age and Roman pottery, in addition to broken roof slates of probable post-medieval date. Fieldwalking immediately east of the monument in 1978 recovered two further Iron Age pot sherds and a large quantity of Roman material. The base of a `Beehive' quern used for grinding grain of Iron Age date was also recovered from the ditch. The finds suggest that the enclosure was initially constructed in the Iron Age, remaining in use through the Roman period with its internal platform being used for cultivation in the medieval period.

All fences and field hedges are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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: 30244

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Liddle, P, Leicestershire Archaeology: The Present State of Knowledge, (1982)
Department of Antiquities, , 'Trans. of Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society' in Belton 451200, , Vol. 30, (1954)
Leicestershire Museums Service, Site Summary Sheet: 42 SE.P,
Moore, J, (1997)
Tarver, Anne, SK 4520, Trans. of Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society, (1977)
Title: Plan of Titheable Part of Belton Source Date: 1852 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing