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Small multivallate hillfort with outworks called Coney's Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Whitchurch Canonicorum, Dorset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.7736 / 50°46'24"N

Longitude: -2.8923 / 2°53'32"W

OS Eastings: 337177.897308

OS Northings: 97486.695986

OS Grid: SY371974

Mapcode National: GBR PK.FQR8

Mapcode Global: FRA 47T1.K0H

Entry Name: Small multivallate hillfort with outworks called Coney's Castle

Scheduled Date: 13 December 1929

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003208

English Heritage Legacy ID: DO 98

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Whitchurch Canonicorum

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Whitchurch Canonicorum with Stanton St Gabriel and Fishpond St Candida and Holy Cross

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument, which falls into two areas of protection, includes a small multivallate hillfort with outworks, situated on the southern end of a prominent ridge which forms the watershed between several tributaries to the River Char. The hillfort survives as an irregular, elongated inner enclosure defined by two concentric rampart banks and a medial ditch on all except the western side where the steep natural slope is topped by a single rampart bank with additional outworks to the south forming a similarly-defined enclosure. In total the interior of both enclosures covers approximately 4ha. The hillfort is bisected by a road, and this area is excluded from the scheduling. The inner rampart has been largely fossilised within hedge banks. Gravel quarrying has occurred in the northern part of the interior.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Small multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of varying shape, generally between 1 and 5ha in size and located on hilltops. They are defined by boundaries consisting of two or more lines of closely set earthworks spaced at intervals of up to 15m. These entirely surround the interior except on sites located on promontories, where cliffs may form one or more sides of the monument. Earthworks may consist of a rampart alone or of a rampart and ditch which, on many sites, are associated with counterscarp banks and internal quarry scoops. Access to the interior is generally provided by one or two entrances, either simple gaps in the earthwork or inturned passages, sometimes with guardrooms. The interior generally consists of settlement evidence including round houses, four and six post structures interpreted as raised granaries, roads, pits, gullies, hearths and a variety of scattered post and stake holes. Evidence from outside numerous examples of small multivallate hillforts suggests that extra-mural settlement was of a similar nature. Small multivallate hillforts are rare with around 100 examples recorded nationally. Most are located in the Welsh Marches and the south-west with a concentration of small monuments in the north-east. They are a rare form of hillfort and important for understanding the nature of settlement and social organisation within the Iron Age period. Despite some disturbance from the road and quarrying, the small multivallate hillfort with outworks called Coney's Castle survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, trade, agricultural practices, social organisation, territorial significance, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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