Ancient Monuments

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Rybury camp

A Scheduled Monument in All Cannings, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3747 / 51°22'28"N

Longitude: -1.8816 / 1°52'53"W

OS Eastings: 408337.442405

OS Northings: 163963.16526

OS Grid: SU083639

Mapcode National: GBR 3W3.R48

Mapcode Global: VHB4B.BQM1

Entry Name: Rybury camp

Scheduled Date: 26 June 1924

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005695

English Heritage Legacy ID: WI 32

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: All Cannings

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: All Cannings All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


Causewayed enclosure and slight univallate hillfort called Rybury Camp 920m WSW of Hill Barn.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 18 June 2015. This 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. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.

This monument includes a causewayed enclosure and slight univallate hillfort situated on the summit of a very steeply sloping and prominent downland ridge called Clifford’s Hill. The causewayed enclosure survives as an oval interior defined by two concentric oval banks with causeways and an outer partially buried ditch with similar causeways which have been surrounded and partially overlain by the earthworks of the slight univallate hillfort. The inner rampart of the causewayed enclosure stands up to 1m high and encloses an area measuring 130m long by 100m wide. It is surrounded by a second bank which survives as a scarp of up to 2.3m high with an outer ditch of 0.2m deep and 3m wide. This second rampart encloses an inner area of approximately 180m long by 160m wide. The slight univallate hillfort is also oval in plan and surrounds the earlier earthworks on all except the north east side. It is defined by a single rampart bank of up to 1.1m high with an outer ditch of up to 1.5m deep and has a single southern entrance. The interior measures approximately 190m long by 150m wide. The whole interior and ramparts relating to both structures have been disturbed by pits associated with post medieval chalk extraction which give an overall uneven appearance. A trial trench in 1963 yielded over 600 flint flakes, a few bones and teeth. Chance finds in 1964 and 1967 included Neolithic pottery. However, the site was more fully understood following extensive field survey in 1995 when its complex development was revealed.

A further enclosure which was possibly re-used as an outwork to the hillfort is not included because it has not been formally assessed.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Between 50 and 70 causewayed enclosures are recorded nationally, mainly in southern and eastern England. They were constructed over a period of some 500 years during the middle part of the Neolithic period (c.3000-2400 BC) but also continued in use into later periods. They vary considerably in size (from 0.8ha to 28ha) and were apparently used for a variety of functions, including settlement, defence, and ceremonial and funerary purposes. However, all comprise a roughly circular to ovoid area bounded by one or more concentric rings of banks and ditches. The ditches, from which the monument class derives its name, were formed of a series of elongated pits punctuated by unexcavated causeways. Causewayed enclosures are amongst the earliest field monuments to survive as recognisable features in the modern landscape and are one of the few known Neolithic monument types. Due to their rarity, their wide diversity of plan, and their considerable age, all causewayed enclosures are considered to be important. 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. Despite quarrying and subsequent animal burrowing the causewayed enclosure and slight univallate hillfort called Rybury 920m WSW of Hill Barn survive comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, development, longevity, territorial and strategic significance, social organisation, domestic arrangements, trade, ritual significance, function, agricultural practices and the overall landscape context of this important landmark hill though a considerable period of time.

Source: Historic England


PastScape 216031, 1093452 and 1093453
Wiltshire HER SU06SE100 and SU06SE202

Source: Historic England

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