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Roveries Hill Camp slight univallate hillfort 400m north east of The Roveries

A Scheduled Monument in Lydham, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.5261 / 52°31'34"N

Longitude: -2.996 / 2°59'45"W

OS Eastings: 332524.358457

OS Northings: 292493.6181

OS Grid: SO325924

Mapcode National: GBR B6.FWM1

Mapcode Global: VH75R.0RZV

Entry Name: Roveries Hill Camp slight univallate hillfort 400m north east of The Roveries

Scheduled Date: 31 March 1949

Last Amended: 20 June 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011023

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19181

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Lydham

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Lydham

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes a small univallate hillfort and an area of Neolithic
occupation situated on the summit of Roveries Hill, a small rounded hill
commanding the Camlad-Onny valley and the Lydham pass to the south west of the
Long Mynd. The hillfort is oval in shape with maximum dimensions of 264m
south west to north east by 110m north west to south east giving an enclosed
area of approximately 2.5ha. The defences are designed to make maximum
advantage of the natural topography. They include a single substantial dry
stone revetted rampart around the south west, west and north sides of the
enclosure. It averages 1.8m high on its inside and 3.8m high on its outside
and has a largely silted up outer ditch 5m wide and 0.2m deep. Around the
north east quarter there is no inner bank, the hillfort relying for defence on
the precipitous nature of the hillslope.
There are three entrance breaks in the defences, in the north, south east
and north west. The northern is a fine example of a deeply inturned entrance,
the east and west sides of the rampart curling inwards to form a narrow
entrance passage 24m long and only 3m wide. Such inturned entrances
were developed to ensure that any approach to the interior of the hillfort
could be overlooked and controlled by guards on the flanking ramparts. Partial
excavation of this entrance in 1935 revealed that the sides of the entrance
were revetted with well structured drystone walling and that stone-built
guard chambers were incorporated into the structure of the ramparts. Sections
of the walling revealed by these excavations remain visible today. This
entrance is approached by a length of causeway 100m long and averaging 5m wide
which climbs the hill from the west. It curves into the entrance and appears
to be contemporary with the hillfort defences. To the east of the entrance, on
the outside of the main rampart, a berm up to 6m wide is cut into the
hillslope some 20m below the top of the rampart, steepening the natural slope.
This extends around the northern quarter of the hillfort for some 60m before
fading out. It appears to have been constructed to further strengthen the
defences in the area of the northern entrance. A second slightly inturned
entrance lies in the south east quarter of the site, opposing the main north
entrance. A portion of these entrance works was also excavated in 1935 to
reveal drystone walling of similar construction forming a complex gate
system. The third possible entrance in the north west quarter of the site
comprises a simple break in the rampart 5m wide.
Although there is now no recognisable surface evidence of habitation within
the hillfort, limited exploratory excavations undertaken in 1960 in the
central area of the hillfort interior demonstrated that archaeological
evidence does survive in the interior of the site. As well as Iron Age
material relating to the occupation of the hillfort, material from an earlier
phase of settlement on the hilltop was also identified. A hearth associated
with pottery from the Neolithic period was discovered in the centre of the
hillfort while further Neolithic pottery fragments were found beneath the Iron
Age rampart near to the northern entrance. These finds demonstrate that the
hill had been occupied during the Neolithic period, some two thousand years
before the later Iron Age community constructed the hillfort.
All fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is

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

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.

The Roveries slight univallate hillfort survives well and is a good example of
its class. The defences are unusual in the extent and quality of the surviving
drystone walling, as evidenced in the limited excavations carried out in 1935.
This walling, where exposed, remains in excellent condition and throughout the
major extent of the defences will survive undisturbed. The defences will
contain valuable archaeological evidence concerning their method of
construction and the sequence of occupation. The interior of the site,
although afforested, is known to contain stratified archaeological material.
Limited exploratory excavations in the central area of the hillfort interior
in 1960 revealed the presence of archaeological material relating both to the
Iron Age occupation and an earlier phase of settlement dating to the Neolithic
period. With the exception of the 1960 sample trenches the hillfort interior
remains undisturbed and will contain archaeological evidence throughout its
extent. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument
was constructed and the economy of its inhabitants will survive in the ditch
fill and sealed on the old land surface beneath the ramparts.
The presence of Neolithic occupation material on the hill, as evidenced by
the 1960 sample excavations in the interior of the hillfort, is extremely rare
in the county. This is amongst the earliest evidence for habitation known in
the Marches and greatly enhances the importance of the site. Such monuments,
either considered singularly or in association with others of a similar
period, contribute valuable information relating to the settlement pattern,
social structure and economy of the area during the Iron Age. In this respect
the smaller hillfort which lies 350m to the north east, the subject of a
separate scheduling, is of particular interest.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Watson, M, Musson, C, Shropshire from the Air. Man and the Landscape, (1993), 14
Watson, M, Musson, C, Shropshire from the Air. Man and the Landscape, (1993), 14
Record no 1221,

Source: Historic England

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