Ancient Monuments

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Large multivallate hillfort at Dry Hill Camp

A Scheduled Monument in Dormansland, Surrey

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Latitude: 51.157 / 51°9'25"N

Longitude: 0.0471 / 0°2'49"E

OS Eastings: 543250.15809

OS Northings: 141743.57678

OS Grid: TQ432417

Mapcode National: GBR LMZ.DPY

Mapcode Global: VHHQ8.R5RV

Entry Name: Large multivallate hillfort at Dry Hill Camp

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1925

Last Amended: 20 October 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008508

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23011

County: Surrey

Civil Parish: Dormansland

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Dormansland St John the Evangelist

Church of England Diocese: Southwark


The monument includes a large multivallate hillfort of Iron Age date, situated
on the crest of Dry Hill, a gently sloping rise in an area of sandstone. The
hillfort is defined by upstanding earthen ramparts enclosing a roughly
rectangular area of c.10ha. The ramparts to the north east, south west and
west survive as three banks and two ditches, while to the south east and north
only the inner bank remains as an upstanding earthwork. The inner bank is up
to 9m wide and 2.2m high measured from the exterior of the enclosure.
The middle bank is up to 7m wide and 1.8m high and the outer bank 8m wide and
1m high. Between the rampart banks are ditches up to 1m deep and 5m wide. To
the south east and north the outer ramparts are no longer visible at ground
level but the ditches survive as buried features, having become infilled over
the years.
The main entrance is situated on the northern edge of the enclosure and,
during drainage work carried out in the 1960s, an infilled hollow way was
identified entering the enclosure at this point. Excavations in 1932 recovered
flint artefacts representing earlier occupation of the site and evidence of
pre-Roman iron smelting, including iron slag, from within the hillfort.
Situated on the west side of the interior of the hillfort is a covered
reservoir constructed in 1910 and a smaller covered reservoir within the
south western ramparts. Both of these are excluded from the scheduling, as are
all fences and fence posts within the area of the scheduling, but the ground
beneath all these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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, fencelines, 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.
In view of the rarity of large multivallate hillforts and their importance in
understanding the nature of social organisation within the Iron Age period,
all examples with surviving archaeological potential are believed to be of
national importance.

Despite cultivation and the construction of the reservoirs, the large
multivallate hillfort at Dry Hill survives well with the complete circuit of
the ramparts and the interior remaining largely undisturbed. Partial
excavation has demonstrated that the site contains archaeological remains and
environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it
was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Tebbutt, CF, 'Surrey Archaeological Collections' in Dry Hill Camp, Lingfield, , Vol. 67, (1970), 119-20
Winbolt, S E, Margary, I D, 'Surrey Archaeological Collections' in Dry Hill Camp, Lingfield, , Vol. 41, (1933), 79-92

Source: Historic England

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