Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Large multivallate hillfort 205m east of Luce's Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Rockhampton, South Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.6325 / 51°37'56"N

Longitude: -2.4959 / 2°29'45"W

OS Eastings: 365771.904868

OS Northings: 192747.923811

OS Grid: ST657927

Mapcode National: GBR JV.8BW9

Mapcode Global: VH87X.P7CC

Entry Name: Large multivallate hillfort 205m east of Luce's Farm

Scheduled Date: 13 September 1948

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004529

English Heritage Legacy ID: SG 181

County: South Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Rockhampton

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Thornbury St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes a large multivallate hillfort, situated on the summit of a prominent spur called Camp Hill, which forms the watershed between the valleys of two streams which drain into the Rockhampton Rhine. The hillfort survives as double rampart banks with closely-set concentric ditches which are clearly visible as pronounced earthworks to the north, east and south. It is less clearly defined to the west where lines of lynchets apparently complete the circuit although these are arguably of agricultural origin. Enclosing an area of approximately 5.9ha, the inner rampart is the most pronounced, standing to a maximum height of 3.6m, whilst the outer one reaches a maximum of 3m high. The accompanying ditches of both ramparts are also partially infilled and appear as shallow depressions or berms in some places.

Sources: PastScape 201647
South Gloucestershire HER 1576

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Large multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of between 5ha and 85ha in area, located on hills and defined by two or more lines of concentric earthworks set at intervals of up to 15m. They date to the Iron Age period, most having been constructed and used between the sixth century BC and the mid-first century AD. They are generally regarded as centres of permanent occupation, defended in response to increasing warfare, a reflection of the power struggle between competing elites. Earthworks usually consist of a rampart and ditch, although some only have ramparts. Access to the interior is generally provided by two entrances although examples with one and more than two have been noted. These may comprise a single gap in the rampart, inturned or offset ramparts, oblique approaches, guardrooms or outworks. Internal features generally include evidence for intensive occupation, often in the form of oval or circular houses. These display variations in size and are often clustered, for example, along streets. Four- and six-post structures, interpreted as raised granaries, also occur widely while a few sites appear to contain evidence for temples. Other features associated with settlement include platforms, paved areas, pits, gullies, fence lines, hearths and ovens. Additional evidence, in the form of artefacts, suggests that industrial activity such as bronze- and iron-working as well as pottery manufacture occurred on many sites. Large multivallate hillforts are rare with around 50 examples recorded nationally. These occur mostly in two concentrations, in Wessex and the Welsh Marches, although scattered examples occur elsewhere. They are rare and important for understanding the nature of social organisation within the Iron Age period. Despite past cultivation, the large multivallate hillfort 205m east of Luce's Farm survives comparatively 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

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