Ancient Monuments

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Leckhampton camp and tumulus

A Scheduled Monument in Shurdington, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.8638 / 51°51'49"N

Longitude: -2.0767 / 2°4'35"W

OS Eastings: 394817.631793

OS Northings: 218364.507763

OS Grid: SO948183

Mapcode National: GBR 2MQ.3SQ

Mapcode Global: VH94F.YFJ1

Entry Name: Leckhampton camp and tumulus

Scheduled Date: 5 January 1927

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004862

English Heritage Legacy ID: GC 46

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Shurdington

Built-Up Area: Cheltenham

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Leckhampton St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


Slight univallate hillfort known as Leckhampton Camp and bowl barrow 320m north west of Hill Farm.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 8 July 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort and a bowl barrow within a square enclosure situated on the summit of the limestone plateau of the Cotswold escarpment overlooking the valley and tributaries of the River Chelt. The hillfort survives as an irregular shaped enclosure defined to the west by artificially enhanced scarps and on the remaining sides by a single rampart and ditch. Excavations in 1925 and 1969-71 showed the bank was up to 6m wide and 1.8m high and the ditch was 4.2m wide and 2.7m deep. The entrance is a complex inturned feature with two guard chambers. Chance finds over the years have indicated multiple phases of occupancy including the Iron Age, Romano-British, Anglo-Saxon and medieval periods.

To the east of the hillfort is a bowl barrow which survives as a circular mound up to 10m in diameter and 0.6m high with a hollowed centre. It is surrounded by a square enclosure defined by a 0.6m high bank. Excavations produced two human skeletons of possible Iron Age date but no direct link could be found between the barrow and the enclosure.

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.

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices.

Although much is already known about the slight univallate hillfort and bowl barrow 320m north west of Hill Farm, further archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, longevity, relative chronologies, relationship, adaptive re-use, domestic arrangements, territorial and ritual significance and overall landscape context will be retained.

Source: Historic England


PastScape 117424 and 117427

Source: Historic England

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