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A slight univallate hillfort 600m south east of Home Farm

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: A slight univallate hillfort 600m south east of Home Farm

List entry Number: 1018453

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Buckinghamshire

District: Aylesbury Vale

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Maids Moreton

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 04-Feb-1999

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 29420

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 slight univallate hillfort 600m south east of Home Farm is notable for its association with the discovery of an Iron Age socketed axe, and although the site has been denuded by ploughing it will still retain significant and valuable archaeological information.

The circuit of the ramparts is clearly marked and the perimeter ditch, in particular, will remain well preserved beneath layers of accumulated and dumped soil. Buried features related to the period of occupation will also survive in the interior of the fort and these, together with the earlier fills of the surrounding ditch, will contain artefactual evidence illustrating the date of the hillfort's construction as well as the duration and character of its use. Environmental evidence reflecting the appearance of the landscape in which the monument was set may also survive in these deposits, as well as on areas of old land surface sealed beneath surviving sections of the bank.

The fort's location in a low-lying area rather than on a summit or ridge is somewhat unusual, although far from unique in the region. Comparisons between this site and similar examples near Padbury to the south and Dunstable to the south east will provide valuable information concerning the function of these low-lying sites, especially in relation to the more strongly defended hillforts which proliferated along the adjacent Chiltern Hills in the later prehistoric period.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the buried and visible remains of a slight univallate hillfort located on the northern side of the flood plain of the River Great Ouse, some 2km to the east of Buckingham.

The hillfort occupies a low-lying position at the base of a gentle slope and is nearly circular in plan, measuring approximately 200m in diameter. The ramparts have long since been reduced by ploughing. They must however, have remained clearly visible in the early 19th century as the (now dismantled) Buckingham arm of the Grand Union Canal was built around the south eastern part of the perimeter. Elsewhere, across the field to the north of the former canal, the largely buried perimeter ditch remains visible as a broad depression measuring some 10m-15m in width and 0.8m deep. The internal bank can also be traced in places, either as a slight earthwork, or from scatters of limestone rubble used in its construction. This tabular limestone occurs locally at depths of between 1m-2m, and was doubtless derived from the ditch. Cropmarks (variations in crop growth caused by buried features), reflecting the layout of the defences have been recorded on several occasions since the site was first photographed from the air in 1946. The position of the entrance, however, has yet to be discovered.

In 1967 a socketed iron axe head was found on the ploughed surface within the hillfort. It is thought to date from the Early or Middle Iron Age (600-100 BC), and is still one of only about 20 examples of this type of axe to have been found in the British Isles.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Manning, W H, Saunders, C, 'Antiquaries Journal' in A Socketed Iron Axe from Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire, , Vol. 52. 2, (1972), 276-85
Other
Conversation with landowner, Pullin, J, Limestone outcrops in the vicinity of Home Farm, Maids Moreton, (1997)
Mention of A.Rivet's interest in site, Green, C W, Letter to Mr Gowling (Bucks Museum Curator), (1961)
Oblique monochrome, Farley, M, A 14/7/4, (1990)
Oblique monochrome, Farley, M, A 14/7/7, (1990)
Oblique monochrome, Foard, G, 2483/25, (1984)
References to Foscott villa, SMR: 0773,
SMR entry No.2837, Grand Union Canal (Buckingham arm),
Vertical (copy in Bucks SMR), RAF, Print 4320, run 21., (1946)
Went, D, Foscott Roman villa: MPP Alternative Action Report., (1998)

National Grid Reference: SP 72424 34720

Map

Map
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1018453 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 11-Dec-2017 at 07:42:51.

End of official listing