Ancient Monuments

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Iron Age defended settlement 525m ENE of Elberton Manor

A Scheduled Monument in Aust, South Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.593 / 51°35'34"N

Longitude: -2.5672 / 2°34'1"W

OS Eastings: 360802.728565

OS Northings: 188396.504528

OS Grid: ST608883

Mapcode National: GBR JR.BYRP

Mapcode Global: VH882.G753

Entry Name: Iron Age defended settlement 525m ENE of Elberton Manor

Scheduled Date: 13 June 1968

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002478

English Heritage Legacy ID: SG 52

County: South Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Aust

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Elberton

Church of England Diocese: Bristol


The monument includes an Iron Age defended settlement, situated on the summit of a spur with far reaching views across the low lying flood plain to the River Severn. The settlement survives as an irregularly-shaped enclosure which covers an area of approximately 1.6ha. It is defined to the north by steep natural slopes and to the remaining sides by a large rampart bank, outer ditch and counterscarp bank which survive differentially around the circuit but are best preserved to the east and south. The interior measures up to 133m long north to south by 98m wide east to west. Possible causewayed entrances have been noted at either end of the southern side. Two sherds of Iron Age pottery have been retrieved as stray finds from the interior.

Sources: PastScape 201491
South Gloucestershire HER 1455

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

During the Iron Age a variety of different types of settlement were constructed and occupied in south western England. At the top of the settlement hierarchy were hillforts built in prominent locations. In addition to these a group of smaller sites, known as defended settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops, others in less prominent positions. They are generally smaller than the hillforts, sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha. The enclosing defences were of earthen construction. Univallate sites have a single bank and ditch, multivallate sites more than one. At some sites these earthen ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber fence or palisade. Where excavated, evidence of stone- or timber-built houses has been found within the enclosures, which, in contrast to the hillfort sites, would have been occupied by small communities, perhaps no more than a single family group. Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element of the settlement pattern, particularly in the upland areas of south western England, and are integral to any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during this period. The Iron Age defended settlement 525m ENE of Elberton Manor survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, function, agricultural practices, social organisation, territorial significance, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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