Ivington Camp multivallate hillfort


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018856

Date first listed: 24-Jun-1935

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Apr-1999


Ordnance survey map of Ivington Camp multivallate hillfort
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Leominster

National Grid Reference: SO 48465 54373


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

Reasons for Designation

Large multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of between 5ha and 85ha in area, located on hills and defined by two or more lines of concentric earthworks set at intervals of up to 15m. They date to the Iron Age period, most having been constructed and used between the sixth century BC and the mid-first century AD. They are generally regarded as centres of permanent occupation, defended in response to increasing warfare, a reflection of the power struggle between competing elites. Earthworks usually consist of a rampart and ditch, although some only have ramparts. Access to the interior is generally provided by two entrances although examples with one and more than two have been noted. These may comprise a single gap in the rampart, inturned or offset ramparts, oblique approaches, guardrooms or outworks. Internal features generally include evidence for intensive occupation, often in the form of oval or circular houses. These display variations in size and are often clustered, for example, along streets. Four- and six-post structures, interpreted as raised granaries, also occur widely while a few sites appear to contain evidence for temples. Other features associated with settlement include platforms, paved areas, pits, gullies, fencelines, hearths and ovens. Additional evidence, in the form of artefacts, suggests that industrial activity such as bronze- and iron-working as well as pottery manufacture occurred on many sites. Large multivallate hillforts are rare with around 50 examples recorded nationally. These occur mostly in two concentrations, in Wessex and the Welsh Marches, although scattered examples occur elsewhere. In view of the rarity of large multivallate hillforts and their importance in understanding the nature of social organisation within the Iron Age period, all examples with surviving archaeological potential are believed to be of national importance.

Ivington Camp survives well and represents a good example of this class of monument. Its commanding position not only provided defence, but also displayed the status of its buildiers. Part excavation and a watching brief have demonstrated that, despite regular ploughing, the site retains buried structural and artefactual evidence associated with its occupation. Such remains will also contribute to an understanding of the development of the site, in particular the adaptation of the original univallate hillfort when it was incorporated within the subsequent multivallate one. The internal features and the defensive ditches will also provide environmental information relating to the site's inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.


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


The monument is situated approximately 1km south east of Ivington Park and includes the earthwork and buried remains of large multivallate hillfort and those of a slight univallate hillfort which is believed to have preceded it.

The site occupies the south western end of a ridge where the ground falls away in all directions except the north east. The original univallate hillfort occupies the north western part of the site and is defined along its south and east sides by a crescent-shaped rampart. In 1996 archaeological recording of a 31m length of the rampart recovered evidence for a row of post holes along this entire section, indicating that a revetment of vertical timbers originally rose through the middle of the rampart in order to strengthen it. A watching brief, also undertaken in 1996, demonstrated that a ditch, which has become infilled over time, runs parallel with the east side of the rampart and survives as a buried feature.

The defences of the multivallate hillfort closely follow the contours of the hill except on the northern half of the east side and include a substantial inner bank and ditch with intermittent traces of a second bank beyond which, on the east side of the hillfort, is an outer ditch. The north side is thought to have been defended by an inner rampart with an outer ditch and parapet but the two latter features have become flattened and now form a rough berm, whilst the north west corner of the site has been affected by later quarrying. Original access to the interior of the multivallate hillfort is by means of at least two entrances, an inturned one at the north east end of the site, and an elaborate southern entrance. The latter takes the form of a curving, sunken entranceway bounded on its north side by the rising hillside and by a rampart and outer ditch along its south and east sides together with additional complex outworks which include a small flattened spur which is believed to have formed a command point.

The interior is divided into two enclosures by the crescent-shaped rampart of the original hillfort and the level of the western enclosure; that is, the interior of the earlier hillfort, is approximately 1.8m higher than that to the east. The central part of the interior is now occupied by the buildings of Camp Farm which are considered to have so modified the site in this area that it is totally excluded from the scheduling. In 1996 a narrow trench was excavated running south west from the north eastern corner of the site to Camp Farm. This revealed shallow gulleys, post holes and layers of limestone rubble associated with the occupation of the site; Iron Age pottery and briquetage (ceramic salt containers) were also recovered. The buried remains of further internal structures will survive beneath the ground surface.

All fence posts, the surfaces of all paths and driveways and the pheasant pens 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.


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

Legacy System number: 21624

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, , An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire 3, (1934), 131-33
Dalwood, H, Pearson, H, Ratkai, S, 'Hereford and Worcester County Sites and Monuments Record' in Salvage Recording at Ivington Camp, Leominster, , Vol. 507, (1997)
Stirling-Brown, R, 'Herefordshire Archaeological News' in Field Meeting in the Stretford Area, , Vol. 60, (1993), 50-8

End of official listing