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Enclosed Iron Age farmstead on Wilderley Hill, 470m north west of Sallins Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Smethcott, Shropshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.5944 / 52°35'39"N

Longitude: -2.8571 / 2°51'25"W

OS Eastings: 342037.885826

OS Northings: 299962.421866

OS Grid: SO420999

Mapcode National: GBR BD.9M93

Mapcode Global: WH8CC.21RX

Entry Name: Enclosed Iron Age farmstead on Wilderley Hill, 470m north west of Sallins Cottage

Scheduled Date: 17 October 1930

Last Amended: 14 December 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010722

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19157

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Smethcott

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Church Pulverbatch

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

Details

The monument includes the remains of a small Iron Age enclosed farmstead
situated on the gentle south east facing slope of Wilderley Hill. The
farmstead enclosure is well defined, roughly circular in plan, with an overall
external diameter of 60m and an interior area c.42m in diameter. The visible
earthworks include a substantial perimeter bank averaging 5m wide and 1.1m
high with an external ditch 3.3m wide and 0.8m deep. Traces of an external
counterscarp bank can be recognised around the south western quarter of the
monument, standing up to 0.2m high. The main bank and ditch is continuous
around the uphill side of the enclosure, providing shelter from the rising
ground to the north west and some protection from water draining off the
hillslope. The bank and ditch are interrupted in the south eastern, downslope
quarter, where no trace of either can be recognised. This may represent the
position of the original entrance to the enclosure. The interior of the
enclosure follows the natural slope of the land over most of its area,
however, slight evidence of levelling in the south west and north west
quadrants, may represent the sites of original buildings.
All fencing which lies within the area of the monument is excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The size and form of Iron Age enclosed settlements vary considerably from
single farmsteads up to large semi-urban oppida. Farmsteads are generally
represented by curvilinear enclosures containing evidence of a small group of
circular domestic buildings and associated agricultural structures. Where
excavated, these sites are also found to contain storage pits for grain and
other produce, evidence of an organised and efficient farming system. The
surrounding enclosures would have provided protection against cattle rustling
and tribal raiding.
In central southern England, most enclosed Iron Age farmsteads are situated in
areas which are now under intensive arable cultivation. As a result, although
some examples survive with upstanding earthworks, the majority have been
recorded as crop- and soil-marks appearing on aerial photographs.

The enclosed Iron Age farmstead on Wilderley Hill survives well and is a good
example of the class. The perimeter banks will contain important
archaeological information concerning their date and method of construction.
The largely undisturbed interior will contain archaeological evidence relating
to the use of the enclosure. Environmental evidence, relating to the economy
of the builders and to the character of the landscape in which the site was
constructed will be preserved, sealed on the old land surface beneath the bank
and in the ditch fill.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Record card 00216, Burrow, I,

Source: Historic England

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