Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Slight univallate hillfort and associated earthworks on Burrington Ham

A Scheduled Monument in Burrington, North Somerset

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3258 / 51°19'32"N

Longitude: -2.7504 / 2°45'1"W

OS Eastings: 347810.022813

OS Northings: 158784.176587

OS Grid: ST478587

Mapcode National: GBR JJ.WLW5

Mapcode Global: VH894.8YV1

Entry Name: Slight univallate hillfort and associated earthworks on Burrington Ham

Scheduled Date: 12 October 1976

Last Amended: 12 January 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011261

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22842

County: North Somerset

Civil Parish: Burrington

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

Details

The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated on Burrington Ham,
a carboniferous limestone plateau overlooking Burrington Combe to the south
and west, Blagdon Combe to the east and an area of levels to the north.
The hillfort, known as Burrington Camp, has a level sub-oval interior with
maximum dimensions of 75m from east-west and 110m from north-south.
Surrounding the enclosed area is a single rampart, 8m wide and c.0.5m high,
with a ditch on either side. The ditches are c.0.5m deep and 3m wide. The
rampart is best defined in the southern and eastern areas where the ground
beyond the hillfort is level.
There are two possible entrances to the interior. In the north-west there is
an entrance comprising two gaps in the rampart c.10m wide separated by a ditch
c.12m long. A second entrance, 12m wide, occurs on the north-east side of the
enclosure. It is likely that both entrances are original features of the
monument.
To the north-west there is a segment of ditch which appears to be divorced
from the main enclosure. This is thought to represent a component of the
entrance arrangements, and may relate to the need to channel stock into the
enclosure. On the south-west and north-east sides there are also two
extensions to the external ditch, leading away from the enclosure. In the
south-west the linear feature runs for a further 50m and is accompanied by a
slight bank, while in the north-east an extension to the external ditch runs
away from the enclosure for a distance of c.25m. The purpose of these features
is unclear, but they may relate to the control of stock, as together these
features enclose the area of land situated between the main enclosure and the
cliffs of the gorge to the west.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 10 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 between 150 and 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 include square or rectangular buildings supported
by four to six postholes and interpreted as raised granaries, timber or stone
round houses, large storage pits and hearths as well as scattered postholes,
stakeholes and gullies. 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 Burrington Ham survives well and will
contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument
and the landscape in which it was constructed. This is one of a number of
hillforts to survive in this area.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Results of excavations in 1960, NAR details,

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.