Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bainbridge slight univallate hillfort

A Scheduled Monument in Bainbridge, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.304 / 54°18'14"N

Longitude: -2.1055 / 2°6'19"W

OS Eastings: 393229.619026

OS Northings: 489820.983754

OS Grid: SD932898

Mapcode National: GBR FLQN.YX

Mapcode Global: WHB5N.M2KV

Entry Name: Bainbridge slight univallate hillfort

Scheduled Date: 4 June 1970

Last Amended: 6 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009323

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24486

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Bainbridge

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


This hillfort is situated on a natural spur above the River Bain. It is oval
in plan, 41m in diameter overall and enclosed by a single ditch averaging 6m
wide and 1m deep at its deepest point on the west edge. It becomes less
distinct on its east side and near the field wall which bisects the site,
where it is barely visible. An outer upcast bank is very distinct on the west
side where it stands 1.2m above the base of the ditch. Much of this bank has
been ploughed out on the north east and east sides and merges with the slope
to the south and north. Excluded from the scheduling is the modern field wall
which traverses the monument, although the ground beneath it 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

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.

Although the enclosing bank and ditch at this site have been affected by later
agricultural works, leaving them partially levelled or in-filled, the hillfort
remains identifiable and will retain significant archaeological remains.

Source: Historic England

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