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Boddington Camp: a slight univallate hillfort on the summit of Boddington Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Wendover, Buckinghamshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7636 / 51°45'48"N

Longitude: -0.7231 / 0°43'22"W

OS Eastings: 488220.689085

OS Northings: 207979.98973

OS Grid: SP882079

Mapcode National: GBR D3M.J00

Mapcode Global: VHDVD.FX3Y

Entry Name: Boddington Camp: a slight univallate hillfort on the summit of Boddington Hill

Scheduled Date: 17 July 1963

Last Amended: 8 December 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011304

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19085

County: Buckinghamshire

Civil Parish: Wendover

Built-Up Area: Wendover

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Halton

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

Details

The monument includes a univallate hillfort occupying the summit of a steep
sided chalk spur. The hillfort is oval in shape, measuring overall some 500m
long by 220m wide, and has an internal area of some 6ha. It lies with its long
axis along the hilltop orientated north-east to south-west. The defences run
roughly around the 240m contour and comprise a single rampart and outer ditch.
The defences are strongest around the south and east where the outer ditch is
up to 1.6m deep and the outer scarp of the rampart up to 3.4m above the ditch
bottom on its outer side and 1.7m high on its inner side. In places along this
south-east side there are the remains of an outer or counterscarp bank which
runs along the edge of the ditch; this averages 5m wide and 0.4m high.
The defences become confused towards the north-east end of the hillfort as
the result of later quarrying but their course can still be followed except
where they have been destroyed in the northern corner of the enclosure. This
position is almost certainly the site of the original hillfort entrance but
today nothing of this can be recognised. This northern part has suffered
considerable disturbance from occupation of the site by Calloway or Peacock
Farm which stood in this vicinity until its demolition in the 1950s. Surface
irregularities, along with tile and brick waste scattered on the surface here,
relate to this phase of occupation.
Around the north-western side of the hillfort the outer ditch has been
overlain by a modern terraced forestry track. However the main rampart
survives as a single well defined scarp averaging 2.6m high. Some 200m south
along its length the rampart becomes stronger rising to an average height of
3.6m and an inner bank once more becomes recognisable, averaging 0.6m high. A
modern entrance gap 5m wide has been cut through the rampart some 30m south of
the commencement of this inner bank. The last 120m of this length of the
rampart has an inner ditch 5m wide and 0.8m deep which probably served as the
quarry for the inner bank. The outer ditch remains buried beneath the modern
forestry track throughout the complete length of this western side. At the
extreme south-western corner of the hillfort the outer rampart is lowered to
form an entrance ramp which could be a second original approach to the
interior of the fort. There is no outer ditch at this position, the ditch
commencing some 40m to the east. Whether the ditch was originally intended to
end short of this ramp or whether it has been subsequently infilled is
unclear.
The interior of the hillfort is today heavily afforested. Finds from the
interior of the fort have in the past included fragments of Iron Age pottery,
an ingot, part of a bronze dagger, a flint scraper and a spindle whorl. A
section excavated through the rampart in the area of the southern entrance
revealed fragments of pottery indicating occupation of the site during the
1st-2nd centuries BC. A series of lesser modern banks associated with the
modern farm enclosure can be identified running inside and parallel to the
prehistoric earthworks. A large circular concrete reservoir 33m in diameter
lies approximately central to the site.
The concrete reservoir, along with all modern boundary features, structures
and metalled surfaces are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath these is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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 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 Boddington Hill survives well despite some
evidence of disturbance and is a good example of its class. The interior,
although heavily afforested, has been demonstrated as containing
archaeological evidence relating to the occupation of the site. Similarly, the
perimeter defences will contain archaeological evidence both of the structure
of the original defences and of the date of occupation. The latter has been
demonstrated by finds of diagnostic material from a section cut across the
defences in the south-west corner of the site. It is also likely that
environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument was
constructed and to the economy of its inhabitants will survive in the ditch
fills and sealed beneath the various banks.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Conversation owners,
NAR Card no 1645,

Source: Historic England

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