Ancient Monuments

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Slight univallate hillfort 985m north east of Talbot Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Dyrham and Hinton, South Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.4891 / 51°29'20"N

Longitude: -2.3737 / 2°22'25"W

OS Eastings: 374150.828162

OS Northings: 176746.19627

OS Grid: ST741767

Mapcode National: GBR 0P4.LPZ

Mapcode Global: VH960.STZV

Entry Name: Slight univallate hillfort 985m north east of Talbot Farm

Scheduled Date: 8 November 1928

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002484

English Heritage Legacy ID: SG 68

County: South Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Dyrham and Hinton

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Dyrham

Church of England Diocese: Bristol


The monument, which falls into two areas of protection, includes a slight univallate hillfort, situated on the summit and tip of a prominent spur called Hinton Hill, overlooking the valleys and confluence of two tributaries to the River Boyd. The hillfort survives as a D-shaped enclosure which measures up to 310m long and 229m wide internally and is defined by a single rampart of up to 10m wide and 2.4m high, with an outer ditch of up to 6m wide and 1.5m deep, which is best preserved to the south and east. To the north, past cultivation and tree growth have reduced the height of the rampart significantly and the associated ditch is largely buried here.

The hillfort was the subject of a limited trial excavation in 1969 when the dimensions of the ramparts were confirmed and the entrance in the centre of the east side was also identified. The hillfort is known by a number of alternative names including 'Dyrham Camp', 'Barhill Camp' or 'Burrills Camp'. It is depicted on various maps including Taylor's map of 1786 and the Tithe Award map of 1841 under these various names. The hillfort was also linked with a battle fought between Ceawlin of the West Saxons against the Britons in c. AD 571 which resulted in the overthrow of the three kings and the sackings of Bath, Gloucester and Cirencester.

The hillfort is bisected by a road which is excluded from the scheduling.

Sources: PastScape 204859
South Gloucestershire HER 1960

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 past cultivation and the presence of a road, the slight univallate hillfort 985m north east of Talbot Farm survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, territorial, social and economic significance, trade, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements, potential adaptive re-use and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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