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Knoll Camp hillfort, cross dyke, linear earthwork and hollow ways near Damerham Knoll

A Scheduled Monument in Damerham, Hampshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.9668 / 50°58'0"N

Longitude: -1.8614 / 1°51'41"W

OS Eastings: 409827.916629

OS Northings: 118606.799201

OS Grid: SU098186

Mapcode National: GBR 415.B77

Mapcode Global: FRA 66ZK.BND

Entry Name: Knoll Camp hillfort, cross dyke, linear earthwork and hollow ways near Damerham Knoll

Scheduled Date: 30 January 1952

Last Amended: 13 October 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010764

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25609

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Damerham

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Rockbourne St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument, which falls into three separate areas, includes a slight
univallate hillfort and angled cross dyke of Iron Age date, a linear earthwork
and a series of intermittent medieval hollow ways on a ridge north east of
Damerham Knoll.
The hillfort is situated slightly south east of the highest point of the ridge
and is c.1.25km north east of the Allen River. The cross dyke lies across the
ridge to the north west of the hillfort. The linear earthwork runs along the
ridge from north west to south east in three overlapping strands, one of which
skirts closely around the northern side of the hillfort before petering out at
its east. The hollow ways also follow the alignment of the ridge, cutting
across the bank, ditch and interior of the hillfort.
The hillfort has maximum internal dimensions of c.170m (south west to north
east) by 136m. The bank and external ditch which enclose the interior have
been disturbed at the north by the construction of the linear earthwork and by
small-scale quarrying, and are occasionally interrupted elsewhere by the
hollow ways. The interior has been similarly disturbed. Both bank and ditch
are at their most substantial at the western side of the hillfort, where they
have an overall width of 16m. The bank rises to a maximum height of 1.2m above
the base of the 9m wide ditch and c.0.8m above the general level of the
interior. A slight bank and ditch, c.20m long and 6m wide, lie alongside the
ditch at the western side of the hillfort and a probable original entrance,
c.10m wide, is near its south eastern corner.
The cross dyke, an angled ditch and single bank at its north west, lies across
the ridge c.38m north west of the hillfort. The dyke has an overall length of
c.132m and is up to 10m wide. The bank is c.4m wide and has a maximum height
of 0.65m above the base of the ditch. The southern end of the earthwork turns
to the west and stops above a steep slope. The feature has been truncated by
quarrying at the north east.
The linear earthwork, which runs along the north east facing slope of the
ridge, has an overall length of c.705m. From the north west, a series of two,
occasionally three, parallel steps or banks run obliquely across the slope
below the crest of the ridge. Here the feature has a maximum overall width of
c.26m and the banks are between 2m and 0.75m high. The earthwork is cut by a
quarry c.240m to the south east, but continues after a gap of c.35m as a
single ditch and bank. The ditch is up to 7m wide with a maximum depth of 2.5m
at the upslope side and an intermittent low bank to the north east. The
feature swings tightly around the hillfort, disturbing its bank and ditch,
before petering out to the east.
The hollow ways converge on the hillfort from the south east, most leaving it
at the north west corner to pass between the cross dyke and linear earthwork.
They survive in discontinuous and occasionally intercutting stretches up to
50m long and are generally not more than 5m wide and 0.5m deep, sometimes
slightly banked at the sides.
All fencing, gates, stiles, jumps and associated posts are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

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.

Much of the archaeological landscape on and around Knoll Camp and Damerham
Knoll is preserved as earthworks or crop-marks, which together will provide a
detailed understanding of the nature and development of land division and
settlement in the area.
The hillfort survives well, as do the cross dyke, linear earthworks and hollow
ways on Damerham Knoll. The close association of these features gives a
detailed insight into later prehistoric and medieval land-use strategies. The
earthworks were recently the subject of a detailed survey by the Royal
Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. All will contain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction and use
of the monument.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990), 117
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990), 64
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990), 117
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990), 63-4

Source: Historic England

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