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Slight univallate hillfort 600m north of Roveries House

A Scheduled Monument in Churchstoke (Yr Ystog), Powys

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Latitude: 52.5281 / 52°31'41"N

Longitude: -2.9996 / 2°59'58"W

OS Eastings: 332281.71446

OS Northings: 292717.691205

OS Grid: SO322927

Mapcode National: GBR B6.FVK1

Mapcode Global: VH75Q.YQLB

Entry Name: Slight univallate hillfort 600m north of Roveries House

Scheduled Date: 31 March 1942

Last Amended: 20 June 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011024

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19182

County: Powys

Community: Churchstoke (Yr Ystog)

Traditional County: Shropshire


The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated on the northern
summit of Roveries Hill, a prominent hill commanding the Camlad-Onny valley
and the Lydham pass to the south west of the Long Mynd. The enclosure is
roughly oval in plan with maximum dimensions of 200m north to south by 110m
east to west, giving an internal area of approximately 1.8ha. The site
is positioned to make maximum use of the topography creating a defended site
using the minimum of artificial defensive works. Around the south, east and
north east the natural hill falls as a series of steep slopes and rock cliffs;
these form a formidable barrier to any approach from this direction. Around
the west and north west sides, where the summit is open to the hill to the
west, a substantial linear rampart up to 10m wide and averaging 2.5m high on
its west face and 1m high on its east face has been constructed. A ditch 6m
wide and 1.3m deep runs along the base of the rampart on its west side. At the
southern end this rampart links with the cliff face of a natural rock outcrop.
In the north it curves around to the east to fade out on the steepening
north east slope of the hill. There is no constructed entrance into the
interior of the enclosure and access would most likely have been along a
simple pathway climbing the hill from the east. Such a path exists today in
the south east quarter of the hill. The interior of the site is uneven and it
would most likely have functioned as a temporary defensive work perhaps in
some way associated with the larger and more permanent hillfort which lies
350m to the south west, the subject of a separate scheduling.

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

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 slight univallate hillfort on the extreme summit of Roveries Hill survives
well and is a good example of its class. The constructed defences will contain
stratified archaeological evidence concerning their method of construction and
the period of occupation. Archaeological evidence relating to the occupation
of the site will survive in the interior of the enclosure. Environmental
evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument was constructed will
be preserved sealed on the old land surface beneath the rampart. Such
monuments when considered singly or in relationship to other sites of a
similar period which lie in the vicinity contribute valuable information
relating to the settlement pattern, social organisation and economy of the
countryside during the Iron Age. In this respect the relationship between the
site and the larger Roveries Camp hillfort, which lies 350m to the south west,
is of great interest.

Source: Historic England

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