Ancient Monuments

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Hillfort at Buckland Rings

A Scheduled Monument in Lymington and Pennington, Hampshire

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Latitude: 50.7702 / 50°46'12"N

Longitude: -1.555 / 1°33'17"W

OS Eastings: 431476.877961

OS Northings: 96831.054125

OS Grid: SZ314968

Mapcode National: GBR 66K.PP3

Mapcode Global: FRA 77M1.Q0W

Entry Name: Hillfort at Buckland Rings

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 16 November 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008706

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24327

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Lymington and Pennington

Built-Up Area: Lymington

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Lymington St Thomas the Apostle

Church of England Diocese: Winchester


The monument includes a multivallate Iron Age hillfort on the edge of higher
ground south of Passford Water and west of the Lymington River.
The northern, eastern and southern ramparts of the hillfort follow the
contours of the higher ground and include, except near the north west corner
of the site, three banks and two intermediate ditches with a maximum overall
width of c.40m. The western side of the hillfort, on more level ground, has
two banks and a single ditch. Sway Road runs along the foot of, and has
truncated, the outer bank and there is no evidence of a bank or ditch to the
west of the road. The hillfort has a maximum internal width of c.225m from
west to east and of c.160m from north to south. An area of almost 3ha is
Of the defences, the inner bank is the largest, rising steeply to a maximum of
6m above the base of the 10m wide ditch and up to 2.5m above the interior of
the hillfort. The middle bank rises 2m to 3m above the base of the inner ditch
and is up to 10m wide at the north and east, with a broad, uneven top;
elsewhere it is of similar height but less broad. The outer bank is also 2m-
3m high for much of its length but it is generally narrower and, along the
southern side of the hillfort, intermittent. The entrance, at the eastern side
of the hillfort, is marked by the terminals of the northern ramparts, but the
southern banks have been much reduced by ploughing in the past, slight
undulations only remaining to mark their position. Small-scale excavation has
indicated that the entrance was inturned and that it had two large internal
post holes, probably for a gate. Sealed by a buried ground surface beneath the
ramparts were a hearth, several worked flints and part of a stone mace head of
Neolithic date. There are no upstanding earthworks in the interior, which has
been ploughed in the past but is now pasture.
Excluded from the scheduling are the house called Buckland Rings, Buckland
Rings Cottage and all associated buildings, drives, paving and flagpole, all
fencing and associated posts, although the ground beneath these features is

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Small multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of varying
shape, generally between 1 and 5ha in size and located on hilltops. They are
defined by boundaries consisting of two or more lines of closely set
earthworks spaced at intervals of up to 15m. These entirely surround the
interior except on sites located on promontories, where cliffs may form one or
more sides of the monument. They date to the Iron Age period, most having been
constructed and occupied between the sixth century BC and the mid-first
century AD. Small multivallate hillforts are generally regarded as settlements
of high status, occupied on a permanent basis. Recent interpretations suggest
that the construction of multiple earthworks may have had as much to do with
display as with defence. Earthworks may consist of a rampart alone or of a
rampart and ditch which, on many sites, are associated with counterscarp banks
and internal quarry scoops. Access to the interior is generally provided by
one or two entrances, which either appear as simple gaps in the earthwork or
inturned passages, sometimes with guardrooms. The interior generally consists
of settlement evidence including round houses, four and six post structures
interpreted as raised granaries, roads, pits, gullies, hearths and a variety
of scattered post and stake holes. Evidence from outside numerous examples of
small multivallate hillforts suggests that extra-mural settlement was of a
similar nature. Small multivallate hillforts are rare with around 100 examples
recorded nationally. Most are located in the Welsh Marches and the south-west
with a concentration of small monuments in the north-east. In view of the
rarity of small multivallate hillforts and their importance in understanding
the nature of settlement and social organisation within the Iron Age period,
all examples with surviving archaeological remains are believed to be of
national importance.

The small multivallate hillfort at Buckland Rings displays excellent
preservation of the defences. Small-scale excavation has indicated that,
despite some plough damage, the site contains archaeological and environmental
information relating to the construction, use and abandonment of the monument
and to human activity pre-dating its construction.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hawkes, C F C, 'Proc Hants Field Club' in The Excavation of Buckland Rings, Lymington, , Vol. 13, (1937), 124-164

Source: Historic England

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