Ancient Monuments

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Rowberrow Camp: an Iron Age defended settlement north west of Tynings Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Shipham, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.3081 / 51°18'29"N

Longitude: -2.7697 / 2°46'10"W

OS Eastings: 346443.083331

OS Northings: 156833.392599

OS Grid: ST464568

Mapcode National: GBR JH.XVBQ

Mapcode Global: VH7CV.YD42

Entry Name: Rowberrow Camp: an Iron Age defended settlement north west of Tynings Farm

Scheduled Date: 31 March 1949

Last Amended: 19 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008806

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24023

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Shipham

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a sub-square enclosure representing an Iron Age defended
settlement set on a hillside towards the head of a steep valley. The enclosure
is formed of a bank 0.5m high internally and external ditch up to 0.75m deep,
defining a rectilinear enclosure with rounded corners containing 0.36ha. of
ground on a south west facing slope. On the lower side the bank is absent. The
enclosure is on a concave slope, the ground at the top being extremely steep.
There are three gaps in the earthworks; on the west and south east where a
modern track crosses the enclosure, and on the south west corner. Those gaps
associated with the track are now c.10m wide, but, particularly on the west,
may contain elements of original entrances to the enclosure. The gap on the
south west corner is c.2m wide and poorly defined. The enclosure would
originally have had one, or possibly two, entrances.
The situation of this site near the head of a valley leading up onto the hills
suggests that it functioned as part of a stock enclosure. There is a broadly
similar enclosure 0.7km to the west near the head of an adjoining valley.

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

During the Iron Age a variety of different types of settlement were
constructed and occupied in south-western England. At the top of the
settlement hierarchy were hillforts built in prominent locations. In addition
to these a group of smaller sites, known as defended settlements, were also
constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops, others in less prominent
positions. They are generally smaller than the hillforts, sometimes with an
enclosed area of less than 1ha. The enclosing defences were of earthen
construction. Univallate sites have a single bank and ditch, multivallate
sites more than one. At some sites these earthen ramparts represent a second
phase of defence, the first having been a timber fence or palisade. Where
excavated, evidence of stone- or timber-built houses has been found within the
enclosures, which, in contrast to the hillfort sites, would have been occupied
by small communities, perhaps no more than a single family group.
Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element
of the settlement pattern, particularly in the upland areas of south-western
England, and are integral to any study of the developing use of fortified
settlements during this period. All well-preserved examples are likely to be
identified as nationally important.

In addition to settlement sites, some defended enclosures of this period had
only temporary or seasonal occupation, or functioned primarily as stock
Rowberrow Camp survives as a good example of its class, with another similar
enclosure situated 700m to the west.

Source: Historic England

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