Ancient Monuments

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Brackenbury camp

A Scheduled Monument in North Nibley, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.6519 / 51°39'6"N

Longitude: -2.3667 / 2°22'0"W

OS Eastings: 374724.488127

OS Northings: 194854.77444

OS Grid: ST747948

Mapcode National: GBR 0M6.8HB

Mapcode Global: VH957.XRN0

Entry Name: Brackenbury camp

Scheduled Date: 1 January 1927

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002133

English Heritage Legacy ID: GC 34

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: North Nibley

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: North Nibley St Martin

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


Slight univallate hillfort with outworks called ‘Brackenbury Camp’.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 8 July 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes a slight univallate hillfort with outworks situated on a natural promontory on the Cotswold Escarpment overlooking the wide valley of the Doverte Brook. The hillfort survives as a roughly triangular enclosure defined on two sides by a simple rampart bank measuring up to 15.2m wide and 3m high above the natural steep scarp slopes and on the final north eastern side by an additional berm with a concentric second outer rampart bank standing up to 7.6m wide and 1.5m high and an outer ditch of 6m wide and 1.2m deep with slightly offset entrances. It is thought this outer defensive line may represent a slightly later development phase of the hillfort. In the past internal natural hollows were misidentified as hut circles.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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. They are rare and important for understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities.

Despite extensive tree and scrub growth the slight univallate hillfort with outworks called ‘Brackenbury Ditches’ survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, trade, agricultural practices, social organisation, territorial significance, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape 205380

Source: Historic England

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