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Wall Camp in the Weald Moors: a large low-lying multivallate hillfort

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: Wall Camp in the Weald Moors: a large low-lying multivallate hillfort

List entry Number: 1020282

Location

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

County:

District: Telford and Wrekin

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Edgmond

County:

District: Telford and Wrekin

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Kynnersley

County:

District: Telford and Wrekin

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Tibberton and Cherrington

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 17-Dec-1929

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Sep-2001

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 34907

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

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.

Despite modification to parts of its defensive circuit, Wall Camp is a good example of a large low-lying multivallate hillfort. Very few large low-lying multivallate hillforts are known to have been constructed in Britain. The closest parellel, which is broadly contemporary, is Stonea Camp in Cambridgeshire, which is also surrounded by a former fen. At Wall Camp, a small-scale excavation undertaken within the interior has demonstrated that significant buried deposits, structural features and artefactual remains survive well here. In relation to its topographical location, it is likely that waterlogged deposits containing a range of well-preserved organic remains will survive in the ditches and other deeply cut features. All these remains have the potential to provide a valuable insight into many aspects of Iron Age life. The limited archaeological excavations of the defences have shown that these earthworks retain important information about their construction and subsequent modification. Organic remains surviving in the buried ground surfaces beneath the ramparts and within the ditches will also provide valuable evidence about the local environment and the use of the surrounding land before the fort was constructed and during its occupation.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a large low-lying multivallate hillfort situated on an elevated area of sandstone and boulder clay, which is surrounded by an extensive area of peat that is derived from a former fen. The hillfort is oval in plan, with overall dimensions of 590m north-south by 690m east-west. The defensive circuit encloses an area of approximately 12ha. Its size would suggest that it was the settlement of a very large community, and its location, in the middle of a fen, provided an extra defensive advantage. The surrounding fen is also likely to have been an important source of food, particularly fish and fowl. The earthwork defences of the hillfort consist of multiple banks separated by ditches. The inner rampart defines a heart-shaped area, which reflects the natural shape of the elevated `island'. The best preserved sections of this rampart are on the western and northern sides of the enclosure, and average 2m in height. Some parts of this defensive work have been modified by the creation of the road and by quarrying for soil. Much of the southern and eastern parts of the inner rampart have been reduced in height by ploughing. The external ditch, which bounds the inner rampart, has largely been infilled, but will survive as a buried feature. A causeway about 8m wide through the inner rampart, at the south eastern corner of the fort, appears to have formed the original entranceway into the interior. A topographical survey of the site by the Ordnance Survey and evidence from aerial photographs indicate that the inner rampart is surrounded by a complex series of outer earthworks. Large sections of these earthworks appear to have been extensively remodelled at a later date in order to increase the lines of defence, particularly around the northern half of the site. Where the land has not been cultivated, these outer earthworks are visible mainly as narrow, low and close-set banks separated by ditches. In the areas where the defences have been reducued in height by ploughing, these remains will survive as buried features. At a later stage during the occupation of the fort, a second entranceway into the interior was created. This involved the construction of a large flat-topped causeway across the north eastern sector of remodelled outer defences and over the inner rampart. An observation of a cutting made through the northern part of the inner rampart and small-scale archaeological excavations conducted in 1962 and 1965 across parts of the defences, indicated further the complexity and multi-phased nature of these earthworks. In 1983 a small-scale archaeological excavation was undertaken within the interior close to Wall Farm. The remains of circular buildings were discovered in association with rectangular post-built structures, providing evidence of domestic occupation and the storage of food. The Iron Age pottery recovered from these features comprised local and non-local wares, together with pieces of coarse ceramic containers, known as stony Very Coarse Pottery. These coarsely made pots contained salt, which was transported from brine springs in Cheshire. The date range of this pottery assemblage indicates that the occupation at Wall Camp began around the third century BC and probably had ceased by the beginning of the first century AD. A blue glass bead with white spiral decoration found within the area of the northern outer defences is considered to date from the second or first century BC. Similar examples have been found at other contemporary Iron Age settlements in north Wales and Cheshire. Wall farmhouse, all outbuildings and agricutural buildings, the driveway surface, paths and paved areas, ornamental garden features, modern walls, fences, gate posts and stiles, the cast iron water pump, water troughs, horse jumps, electricity poles, the footbridge crossing the Strine Brook, the concrete marker for the gas pipeline, the surface of the road and Wall Bridge which crosses the Strine Brook are excluded from the scheduling, however the ground beneath all these features is included. The late 18th century stone quarry to the west of Wall Farm is totally excluded from the scheduling.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Cantrill, T C, The Country Between Stafford and Market Drayton31
Leah, M , The Wetlands of Shropshire and Staffordshire, (1998), 123
Leah, M , The Wetlands of Shropshire and Staffordshire, (1998), 78-85
Leah, M , The Wetlands of Shropshire and Staffordshire, (1998), 69
Leah, M , The Wetlands of Shropshire and Staffordshire, (1998), 137
Bond, D, 'Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological Society' in An Excavation at Wall Camp, Kynnersley, , Vol. 67, (1991), 98-107
Britnell, W et al, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in The Collfryn Hillslope Enclosure, , Vol. 55, (1989), 126,129
Ellis, P, 'The Prehistoric Beads report' in Beeston Castle, Cheshire, (1993), 63
Pagett, J A, 'West Midlands Archaeological News Sheet' in Wall Farm, , Vol. 8, (1965), 16
Pagett, J A, 'Shropshire News Letter' in Wall Farm, (1962), 1
Pagett, J A, 'Shropshire News Letter' in Wall Farm, (1962), 2
Pagett, J A, 'Shropshire News Letter' in Wall Farm, , Vol. 28, (1965), 3
Other
Bead is in possession of the owner, Dobson, N, (2000)
Olique AP in the possesion of owner, RAF, RAF U10FTS 14/12/38, (1938)
Title: Wall Camp Source Date: 1975 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Ordnance Survey Antiquity Model for 1:2500 map
Vertical AP in BUFAU, NERC, NERC Film 19/96 Site 95/5 Run 12 6613, (1996)

National Grid Reference: SJ 68080 17802

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Nov-2017 at 07:48:34.

End of official listing