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Hilltop enclosure 190m north west of Farley Mount

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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Hilltop enclosure 190m north west of Farley Mount

List entry Number: 1019122


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

County: Hampshire

District: Test Valley

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Ashley

County: Hampshire

District: Winchester

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Hursley

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 22-May-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Jul-2000

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 34130

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

Hilltop enclosures are defined as sub-rectangular or elongated areas of ground, usually between 10ha and 40ha in size, situated on hilltops or plateaux and surrounded by slight univallate earthworks. They date to between the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth-fifth centuries BC) and are usually interpreted as stock enclosures or sites where agricultural produce was stored. Many examples of hilltop enclosures may have developed into more strongly defended sites later in the Iron Age period and are therefore often difficult to recognise in their original form. The earthworks generally consist of a bank separated from an external ditch by a level berm. Access to the interior was generally provided by two or three entrances which consisted of simple gaps in the rampart. Evidence for internal features is largely dependent on excavation, and to date this has included large areas of sparsely scattered features including post and stakeholes, hearths and pits. Rectangular or square buildings are also evident; these are generally defined by between four and six postholes and are thought to have supported raised granaries. Hilltop enclosures are rare, with between 25 and 30 examples recorded nationally. A greater number may exist but these could have been developed into hillforts later in the Iron Age and could only be confirmed by detailed survey or excavation. The majority of known examples are located in two regions, on the chalk downland of Wessex and Sussex and in the Cotswolds. More scattered examples are found in north-east Oxfordshire and north Northamptonshire. This class of monument has not been recorded outside England. In view of the rarity of hilltop enclosures and their importance in understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities, all examples with surviving archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance.

The hilltop enclosure 190m north west of Farley Mount survives reasonably well despite disturbance by modern farming and can be expected to retain important archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. Although most of the earthworks remain visible only as cropmarks, the ditches and ditch fills will survive as buried features and evidence of post holes and other structural remains can be expected within the interior. The monument's importance is increased by its direct association with surviving evidence of a contemporary field system and a later boundary ditch, both of which preserve the relationship between the enclosure and the wider use of the surrounding landscape.


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


The monument includes a hilltop enclosure of probable Iron Age date, situated on a ridge which projects to the west from Mount Down, a high chalk hill with extensive views in all directions. The roughly circular enclosure encompasses an area of approximately 2.5ha of relatively level ground across the top of the ridge, above steeply sloping ground to the north and south. Subsequent ploughing has caused significant disturbance to the central and southern parts of the monument. The ramparts survive here only as faint traces but remain clearly visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs, which indicate two parallel banks flanking a central ditch. They are better preserved around the northern side where, despite being cut by a later boundary bank and modern footpath, they survive as a shallow, flat bottomed ditch, flanked on both sides by low banks, up to 7m wide and 0.7m high. Aerial photographs indicate a possible entrance on the eastern side with a single ditch projecting approximately 35m to the east, used for guiding stock into the enclosure. The interior of the monument is divided by the slight trace of a ditched bank which projects from the ramparts and forms an inner enclosure within the north west corner of the monument. A small number of Iron Age pot sherds have been recovered from the interior of the monument, and buried remains associated with its original use, including traces of round houses, granaries, pits and hearths, can be expected to survive. A series of low lynchets project to the south from the enclosure's southern boundary. These form part of an extensive field system that was probably contemporary with the use of the monument, but they are heavily disturbed by later ploughing and do not form a coherent enough group to merit scheduling. Later use of the site is represented by a series of tracks and a possible boundary ditch which all cross the monument in an east-west direction, and by a shallow quarry pit in the area of the original entrance. The fence posts situated on the monument and the gravel surface of the Clarendon Way footpath that crosses the monument 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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Cunliffe, B, Iron Age communities in Britain, (1974), 183
Cunliffe, B, Iron Age communities in Britain, (1974), 183-4
Cunliffe, B, Iron Age communities in Britain, (1974)
Bowen, H C, Fowler, P J, 'Rural settlement in Roman Britain' in Romano-British Rural Settlements In Dorset And Wiltshire, (1966), 45
Perry, B T, 'Archaeological Journal' in Iron Age Enclosures And Settlements On The Hampshire Chalklands, , Vol. 126, (1970), 29-43
Crawford, O G S and Keiller, A, Wessex from the Air, (1928)
Crawford, O G S and Keiller, A, Wessex from the Air, (1928)

National Grid Reference: SU 40150 29104


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This copy shows the entry on 25-Sep-2018 at 11:38:44.

End of official listing