Ancient Monuments

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Large univallate hillfort with a bowl barrow and pillow mounds 970m west of The Bungalow

A Scheduled Monument in North Stoke, Bath and North East Somerset

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Latitude: 51.4183 / 51°25'5"N

Longitude: -2.4196 / 2°25'10"W

OS Eastings: 370917.804407

OS Northings: 168891.271112

OS Grid: ST709688

Mapcode National: GBR JZ.PS37

Mapcode Global: VH96D.0MQ3

Entry Name: Large univallate hillfort with a bowl barrow and pillow mounds 970m west of The Bungalow

Scheduled Date: 24 April 1951

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004677

English Heritage Legacy ID: BA 73

County: Bath and North East Somerset

Civil Parish: North Stoke

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a large univallate hillfort containing a bowl barrow and pillow mounds, situated on the summit of a prominent projecting spur of Lansdown Hill known as Little Down, overlooking the valley of the River Avon. The hillfort survives as a triangular enclosure defined by a scarp on two sides above steep natural slopes and by a stone-faced rampart bank of up to 2m high with an outer ditch of up to 3m deep on the eastern side. The entrance is to the east and historically further outworks were recorded, including counterscarp banks and a defended entrance to the north. These are no longer clearly identifiable on the ground as surface remains but elements of them will survive as buried features. Within the interior are two low rectangular mounds which were excavated in 1911 in the belief that they were barrows. Excavation demonstrated that they were in fact pillow mounds. A further, crescent-shaped bank of up to 0.5m high is interpreted as a bowl barrow.

Further archaeological remains survive in the vicinity, some of which are scheduled separately.

Sources: PastScape 203707, 203752 and 203710

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Large univallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of varying shape, ranging in size between 1ha and 10ha, located on hilltops and surrounded by a single boundary comprising earthworks of massive proportions. They date to the Iron Age period, most having been constructed and used between the fourth century BC and the first century AD, although evidence for earlier use is present at most sites. The size of the earthworks reflects the ability of certain social groups to mobilise the labour necessary for works on such a monumental scale, and their function may have had as much to do with display as defence. Large univallate hillforts are also seen as centres of redistribution, both for subsistence products and items produced by craftsmen. The ramparts are of massive proportions except in locations where steepness of slope precludes easy access. They can vary between 6m and 20m wide and may survive to a height of 6m. The ditches can measure between 6m and 13m wide and between 3m and 5m deep. Access to the interior is generally provided by one or two entrances which often take the form of long passages formed by inturned ramparts and originally closed by a gate located towards the inner end of the passageway. The entrance may be flanked by guardrooms and/or accompanied by outworks. 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. Large univallate hillforts are rare with between 50 and 100 examples recorded nationally. Most are located within southern England where they occur on the Chalklands of Wessex, Sussex and Kent. The western edge of the distribution is marked by scattered examples in north Somerset and east Devon, while further examples occur in central and western England and outliers further north. Within this distribution considerable regional variation is apparent, both in their size, rampart structure and the presence or absence of individual components. They are important for understanding the organisation and regional structure of Iron Age society. Despite cultivation of the interior, the large univallate hillfort with a bowl barrow and pillow mounds 970m west of The Bungalow survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, interrelationships, relative chronologies, longevity, trade, agricultural practices, social organisation, territorial significance, ritual and funerary practices, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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