Frankenbury hillfort


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019125

Date first listed: 05-Feb-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Jul-2000


Ordnance survey map of Frankenbury hillfort
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Jan-2019 at 10:05:50.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hampshire

District: New Forest (District Authority)

Parish: Godshill

National Park: NEW FOREST

National Grid Reference: SU 16730 15228


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 at Frankenbury survives well and can be expected to retain important archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the original construction and use of the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


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


The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort of probable Iron Age date (700 BC - AD 43), situated on a slight promontory at the steep western edge of a gravel plateau, overlooking the River Avon. The east-west aligned hillfort encloses a roughly oval shaped area of approximately 4.5ha. The most elaborate defences are to the east and north east, where they were constructed across the neck of the promontory. They survive here as a single bank, approximately 12m wide, standing up to 2.5m above the interior and 5m above the base of a broad ditch that has been partly infilled as a result of modern ploughing. The remaining defences are on a smaller scale and survive as a simple scarp which augments the naturally steep slope around the promontory edge. This scarp stands up to 5m high to the north and south but is nearly non existent along the hillfort's precipitous western flank. Access to the interior is by way of a simple causewayed gap through the ramparts at the eastern end, which has been widened by its later use as a modern farm track. A second track breaches the rampart on the northern side, and the ramparts have been further disturbed by the construction of a modern boundary bank along the top of the scarp on the southern side. Buried remains associated with the original use of the monument, including traces of round houses, compounds, granaries, pits and outbuildings can be expected to survive within the interior of the hillfort. Fence posts, gates and troughs 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.


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

Legacy System number: 34133

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Sumner, H, The Ancient Earthworks of the New Forest, (1917), 20-1
Williams-Freeman, JP, Introduction to field archaeology as illustrated by Hampshire, (1915), 174-5

End of official listing