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Castle Steads slight univallate hillfort

A Scheduled Monument in Caldbergh with East Scrafton, North Yorkshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.2635 / 54°15'48"N

Longitude: -1.8401 / 1°50'24"W

OS Eastings: 410510.490819

OS Northings: 485330.33794

OS Grid: SE105853

Mapcode National: GBR HML4.DD

Mapcode Global: WHC73.P3YB

Entry Name: Castle Steads slight univallate hillfort

Scheduled Date: 17 June 1970

Last Amended: 18 October 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009322

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24485

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Caldbergh with East Scrafton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Details

Castle Steads univallate hillfort is situated on a north facing hillslope with
ground rising very steeply to the south. The fort, measuring 125m overall east
to west by 60m overall north to south, is enclosed by a ditch with inner and
outer stone ramparts. The best preserved section of the ditch lies to the
north east and has dimensions of 9m wide by 2.2m deep. The ditch and ramparts
have been dug in the north, west and east only, the south side utilizing the
steep, natural slopes of the hill behind. Two entrances are located almost
centrally in the east and west ends. A modern track now crosses the site at
these points, forming a gap of 3m. There is also a break in the bank of 2m on
the north side. The interior of the enclosure is uneven and has been
cultivated in the past as indicated by the earthwork rig and furrow evident
across it. This rig and furrow masks evidence of the earlier internal
features.

MAP EXTRACT
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

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. In view of the rarity of slight
univallate hillforts and their importance in understanding the transition
between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities, all examples which survive
comparatively well and have potential for the recovery of further
archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance.

Despite later cultivation within the interior of the fort which will have
caused some disturbance to original features, the site remains readily
identifiable. The ramparts survive reasonably well, whilst the rig and furrow
will mask evidence of original features within the interior.

Source: Historic England

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