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Slight univallate hillfort and associated settlement remains 300m north-east of Cleeve Court

A Scheduled Monument in Cleeve, North Somerset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3896 / 51°23'22"N

Longitude: -2.7732 / 2°46'23"W

OS Eastings: 346294.337143

OS Northings: 165902.136671

OS Grid: ST462659

Mapcode National: GBR JH.RM51

Mapcode Global: VH7CG.WB8K

Entry Name: Slight univallate hillfort and associated settlement remains 300m north-east of Cleeve Court

Scheduled Date: 18 January 1977

Last Amended: 8 February 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011264

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22846

County: North Somerset

Civil Parish: Cleeve

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

Details

The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort and associated settlement
remains situated 300m north-east of Cleeve Court on Cleeve Hill, a
carboniferous limestone outcrop overlooking Cleeve Combe to the south 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 includes an enclosure with a gently sloping sub-oval interior
with maximum dimensions of 50m from east to west and 45m from north to south.
The northern end is c.15m higher than the southern end which overlooks Cleeve
Combe. However, the site is positioned 30m back from the break of slope,
therefore not fully exploiting the site`s defensive potential.
Surrounding the enclosed area is a single bank which has a variable width of
between 5m and 8m and a maximum height of c.0.5m. This bank is breached in the
east and south-west, the eastern breach probably representing the original
entrance.
Surrounding the bank is a ditch from which material was quarried during the
construction of the monument. This has become infilled over the years but
survives as a buried feature 8m wide.
On the north side of the enclosure are traces of a secondary bank c.5m wide
which is joined to the main enclosure bank creating a secondary enclosed area
of 0.05ha. Beyond this are earthwork remains including low banks and hut
circles which represent an area of unenclosed settlement associated with
the enclosure.

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 situated 300m north-east of Cleeve Court
survives well as one of a pair of contemporary sites to occur locally and will
contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument
and the landscape in which it was constructed. This site is unusual in that it
has an area of extra-mural settlement surviving beyond the hillfort's
defences.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Thornburn, M, 'Proc Univ Bristol Spel Soc' in Cleeve Toot Fort, , Vol. 2 (iii), (1925), 281

Source: Historic England

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