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Beausale camp, a multivallate hillfort

A Scheduled Monument in Beausale, Haseley, Honiley and Wroxall, Warwickshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.3288 / 52°19'43"N

Longitude: -1.6394 / 1°38'21"W

OS Eastings: 424669.060664

OS Northings: 270136.517539

OS Grid: SP246701

Mapcode National: GBR 5LH.SG1

Mapcode Global: VHBX8.JQNM

Entry Name: Beausale camp, a multivallate hillfort

Scheduled Date: 12 February 1925

Last Amended: 13 January 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011370

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21549

County: Warwickshire

Civil Parish: Beausale, Haseley, Honiley and Wroxall

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Warwickshire

Church of England Parish: Hatton Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Coventry

Details

The monument is situated on Camphill which projects eastwards from a high
ridge of land running between the villages of Haseley and Honiley and it
includes a multivallate hillfort.
Beausale camp measures up to 230m west-east and 180m north-south. It is ovoid
in plan with its broadest end towards the west. The hillfort has multivallate
defences which include an inner ditch, intermittent traces of an internal bank
and, beyond the ditch, a second bank and ditch. The inner ditch is best
preserved along the southern edge of the site and measures up to 16m. Much of
the ditch has been infilled, but it will survive as a buried feature. The
outer bank survives along the northern and eastern edges of the site, although
largely denuded, and measures 12m wide across its base. There is evidence for
a second ditch at the eastern edge of the hillfort. This outer ditch is
thought to have originally extended along the southern, northern and
western edges of the site but, with the exception of the 9m wide eastern
section, it has been infilled. These infilled sections will, however, survive
as buried features beneath the ground surface and are therefore included in
the scheduling. There is no evidence of an entrance into the interior of the
hillfort. It is possible that the entrance was at the western edge of the site
and has been destroyed by the construction of Camphill Farm and its
outbuildings. There is a slight break in the south-eastern defensive
earthworks, but this is thought to be a modern entrance.
The interior of the hillfort measures approximately 190m west-east and 130m
north-south and is slightly raised above the surrounding ground surface. There
is no surface evidence of internal features since the interior is under
cultivation; however, these will survive beneath the ground surface.
All fence posts, the electricity pole and its support cable, and service
inspection chambers are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath
these features is included.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Small multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of varying
shape, generally between 1 and 5ha in size and located on hilltops. They are
defined by boundaries consisting of two or more lines of closely set
earthworks spaced at intervals of up to 15m. These entirely surround the
interior except on sites located on promontories, where cliffs may form one or
more sides of the monument. They date to the Iron Age period, most having been
constructed and occupied between the sixth century BC and the mid-first
century AD. Small multivallate hillforts are generally regarded as settlements
of high status, occupied on a permanent basis. Recent interpretations suggest
that the construction of multiple earthworks may have had as much to do with
display as with defence. Earthworks may consist of a rampart alone or of a
rampart and ditch which, on many sites, are associated with counterscarp banks
and internal quarry scoops. Access to the interior is generally provided by
one or two entrances, which either appear as simple gaps in the earthwork or
inturned passages, sometimes with guardrooms. The interior generally consists
of settlement evidence including round houses, four and six post structures
interpreted as raised granaries, roads, pits, gullies, hearths and a variety
of scattered post and stake holes. Evidence from outside numerous examples of
small multivallate hillforts suggests that extra-mural settlement was of a
similar nature. Small multivallate hillforts are rare with around 100 examples
recorded nationally. Most are located in the Welsh Marches and the south-west
with a concentration of small monuments in the north-east. In view of the
rarity of small multivallate hillforts and their importance in understanding
the nature of settlement and social organisation within the Iron Age period,
all examples with surviving archaeological potential are believed to be of
national importance.

Beausale camp survives well and represents a good example of this type of
hillfort. Within the interior of the site, buried features and artefactual
evidence associated with the occupation and the development of the hillfort
will survive below the plough soil. These internal features and the defensive
ditches will retain environmental evidence relating to the economy of the
site's inhabitants and to the landscape in which they lived.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Warwickshire: Volume I, (1904), 357-8
Other
Warwickshire S.M.R., Further Info. File, No.2655,

Source: Historic England

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