Ancient Monuments

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Slight univallate hillfort 150m east of Cleeve Court

A Scheduled Monument in Cleeve, North Somerset

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Latitude: 51.3878 / 51°23'15"N

Longitude: -2.7736 / 2°46'25"W

OS Eastings: 346262.674776

OS Northings: 165697.239006

OS Grid: ST462656

Mapcode National: GBR JH.RT6P

Mapcode Global: VH7CG.WC1Z

Entry Name: Slight univallate hillfort 150m east of Cleeve Court

Scheduled Date: 18 January 1977

Last Amended: 8 February 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011263

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22845

County: North Somerset

Civil Parish: Cleeve

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated 150m east of
Cleeve Court on Cleeve Hill, a carboniferous limestone outcrop overlooking the
gorges of Cleeve Toot to the south, Cleeve Combe to the north and an extensive
area of levels to the west. This is one of two contemporary hillforts which
lie on either side of Cleeve Combe.
The monument has a gently sloping sub-oval interior with dimensions of 125m
from east to west and 90m from north to south. The northern end, which is
adjacent to a steep north-facing cliff, is c.20m lower than the south.
Surrounding the enclosed area on the south, west and east sides is a single
rampart comprising a bank ranging between 5m-8m in width and surviving to a
height of about 0.5m. A ditch, from which material was quarried during the
construction of the monument, lies outside the bank of the enclosure. This has
become largely infilled over the years, although it remains visible at
intervals around the site as a depression c.0.6m deep and up to 10m wide.
The northern boundary of the enclosure is provided by the steep cliff face
overlooking Cleeve Combe. It is unlikely that the ramparts ever extended into
this area.
All fence posts relating to field or property boundaries are excluded from the
scheduling although the ground beneath is included.

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 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 situated 150m east of Cleeve Court survives
well as one of two contemporary monuments set either side of Cleeve Combe.
Few similar sites have been identified in this area. The site will contain
archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the
landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Account of hut platforms,

Source: Historic England

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