Ancient Monuments

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Springfield style enclosure and Iron Age enclosures south of Hill House, Baker Street.

A Scheduled Monument in Orsett, Thurrock

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Latitude: 51.509 / 51°30'32"N

Longitude: 0.3603 / 0°21'36"E

OS Eastings: 563889.683971

OS Northings: 181533.830815

OS Grid: TQ638815

Mapcode National: GBR NLS.7X7

Mapcode Global: VHJL5.6B9K

Entry Name: Springfield style enclosure and Iron Age enclosures south of Hill House, Baker Street.

Scheduled Date: 8 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009287

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24869

County: Thurrock

Electoral Ward/Division: Orsett

Built-Up Area: Orsett

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Orsett; St Giles and All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford


The monument includes a Springfield style enclosure, and an overlying enclosed
domestic settlement believed to date to the Iron Age period. The monument is
located on a low flat topped ridge on a sand and gravel terrace overlooking
Orsett Fen to the north.
The monument is represented by a series of buried features which have been
recognised as cropmarks from aerial photography. The Springfield style
enclosure includes an external ditch, enclosing an area of c.70m in diameter,
with an entrance on the eastern side. The traces of a circular building and
pits are visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs within the enclosure.
Overlying the Springfield style enclosure is an enclosed domestic settlement
and associated field system. This settlement complex includes an `L'shaped
enclosed area measuring 210m by 130m, surrounded by an enclosure ditch, with
at least one entrance on the eastern side. Within it are at least four roughly
rectangular compounds which vary in size from 25m by 30m to 60m by 40m, most
of which are believed to represent stock paddocks and pens or distinct areas
for cultivation and industrial purposes. In an internal enclosure in the
north west corner of the complex are the remains of two circular buildings.
These are visible on aerial photographs as cropmark ring ditches 10m in
diameter along with cropmarks representing pits and other features. This
compound measures 60m x 40m and probably represents the main dwelling area of
the enclosure complex.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Springfield style enclosures are roughly circular enclosures, typically found
on a hilltop or spur and dating to the Middle/Late Bronze Age, with some
occupied into the Early Iron Age. They are named after the type site at
Springfield, Essex, one of the few examples in the country which has been
fully excavated. They are characterised by a single enclosure ditch with a
simple internal bank or box rampart. Within the enclosure, one or more
circular buildings may be found with numerous pits and postholes. Their
function appears to be domestic and such sites will yield archaeological and
environmental information about the lifestyle of the communities living in
them. They are found in eastern England, usually surviving as cropmark sites
visible through aerial photography, and are thought to number no more than
fifty in total. All surviving examples are considered to be of national
importance and will merit protection.

The Springfield style enclosure at Baker Street is a single ditched example
with one circular building and pits within it. The key components of the
monument are clearly visible as cropmarks in aerial photographs indicating
that, beneath the plough soil the monument survives well.
The importance of the Springfield style enclosure south of Hill House is
further enhanced by its association with an Iron Age settlement enclosure
complex. On this site, therefore, we can see a sequence of domestic
development from the Late Bronze Age to the Late Iron Age. The association
between the two types of monument will allow a study to be made of the
chronological and spatial relationship between them which will provide
insights into the land-use and settlement pattern in the later prehistoric

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Buckley, D, Priddy, D, 'East Anglian Archaeology' in Excavations At Woodham Walter And An Assessment Of Essex Encls., (1987)
Buckley, D, Priddy, D, 'East Anglian Archaeology' in Excavations At Woodham Walter And An Assessment Of Essex Encls., (1987)
Wilkinson, A, 'East Anglian Archaeology' in Archaeology and Environment in South Essex, (1988)
Wilkinson, A, 'East Anglian Archaeology' in Archaeology and Environment in South Essex, (1988)
CUCAP BWX85, (1976)
CUCAP BBZ 17, (1970)
CUCAP BBZ17, (1970)
CUCAP BWX 85., (1976)
CUCAP BWX 86, (1976)
Essex Sites and Monuments Record 5212,
Essex Sites and Monuments Record 5212, (1985)
Gibson, S, (1993)
NMR 6381/3/190 405, (1972)
NMR 6381/3/190 405, (1972)

Source: Historic England

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