Slight univallate hillfort 850m north east of Busseys Stool Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020611

Date first listed: 12-Jul-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Jul-2002

Map

Ordnance survey map of Slight univallate hillfort 850m north east of Busseys Stool Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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

County: Dorset

District: North Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Tarrant Gunville

National Grid Reference: ST 93031 15606

Summary

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.

Cranborne Chase is an area of central southern England which includes parts of Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire. This area of chalkland is well known for the high number and diversity of archaeological sites. These include a unique range of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age features, comprising one of the largest concentrations of barows within England, the largest known cursus in England and a significant number and range of henge monuments. Other important remains include a wide variety of enclosures, settlements, field systems and linear boundaries which date throughout prehistory, the Romano-British and medieval periods. The importance of this archaeology is further enhanced by the occurrence of many monuments as rare survivals often with unusual associations. From at least Norman times, Cranborne Chase formed a Royal hunting ground and much of the archaeological survival within the area resulted from the laws which were applied until 1830. The unique archaeological character of The Chase has attracted much interest and research. During the later 19th century important contributions were made by General Pitt Rivers, Sir Richard Colt-Hoare and Edward Cunnington who are often regarded as the `fathers' of British archaeology. Their research resulted in significant advances in excavation technique, recording methods and archaeological interpretation and their pioneering achievement owed much to the archaeology of Cranborne Chase. The slight univallate hillfort 850m north east of Busseys Stool Farm is a well-preserved example of its class. It will contain archaeological remains providing information relating to later prehistoric land use, society and environment.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort, known locally as Caesar's Camp, situated on level ground on Cranborne Chase at the southern end of a chalk spur, 850m north east of Busseys Stool Farm. The hillfort is defined by ramparts which include a bank, about 10m wide and up to 1.8m high, and an external ditch, 8m wide and 1.6m deep. These enclose an oval area of 2.23ha. There is an entrance on the north western side which has out-turned banks and another entrance lies on the south eastern side; both are about 5m wide. A 25m length of the bank north of the south eastern entrance has been reduced by ploughing in the past. All fence and gate posts 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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 33569

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Sumner, H, The Ancient Earthworks of Cranborne Chase, (1913), 30-33

End of official listing