Ancient Monuments

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Small multivallate hillfort called Wychbury Ring 450m south east of Pedmore Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Pedmore and Stourbridge East, Dudley

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.4341 / 52°26'2"N

Longitude: -2.1204 / 2°7'13"W

OS Eastings: 391910.421482

OS Northings: 281795.274303

OS Grid: SO919817

Mapcode National: GBR 1CC.BQZ

Mapcode Global: VH91Q.62DW

Entry Name: Small multivallate hillfort called Wychbury Ring 450m south east of Pedmore Hall

Scheduled Date: 10 August 1923

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003820

English Heritage Legacy ID: WT 345

County: Dudley

Electoral Ward/Division: Pedmore and Stourbridge East

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Hagley

Church of England Diocese: Worcester

Details

The monument includes a small multivallate hillfort, situated on the summit of the extremely prominent Wychbury Hill which itself is the westernmost point of the Clent Hills, offering far-reaching views across the Stour Valley. The hillfort survives as an irregular almost heart-shaped enclosure defined by closely spaced double ramparts with ditches which survive as earthworks throughout the circuit. The interior of the hillfort is up to 250m long by 150m wide. The whole hillfort covers approximately 6ha in total. Best preserved to the south, the inner rampart is up to 20m wide and 2.6m high internally and the inner ditch up to 10m wide and 1.7m deep; to the north this is silted. The outer rampart is up to 10m wide and 1.8m high, and the ditch 10m wide and 1.2m deep, although to the northern part of the hillfort the outer ditch is largely infilled and the rampart is more of a scarp slope. There are two entrances, both inturned, one to the north east and one to the south west; the latter is approached by a hollow way. There was a small excavation in 1884 which produced two small rings identified by the British Museum as being Early Iron Age and some Romano-British pottery has been recovered.
The hillfort was also re-used and allegedly re-fortified during the Second World War when it was known as 'Wychbury 68', a centre for resistance.

Sources: PastScape 118705 and 1428065

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 rare and important for understanding the nature of settlement and social organisation within the Iron Age period. The small multivallate hillfort called Wychbury Ring 450m south east of Pedmore Hall survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, social organisation territorial, political, strategic and economic significance, longevity, trade, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements, adaptive re-use and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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