Ancient Monuments

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Ring Hill camp

A Scheduled Monument in Littlebury, Essex

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.0213 / 52°1'16"N

Longitude: 0.2073 / 0°12'26"E

OS Eastings: 551550.721913

OS Northings: 238172.797644

OS Grid: TL515381

Mapcode National: GBR MC1.C6V

Mapcode Global: VHHL3.JGYB

Entry Name: Ring Hill camp

Scheduled Date: 10 August 1923

Last Amended: 8 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011473

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20726

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Littlebury

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Details

The monument on Ring Hill includes an oval hillfort situated on the summit of
the hill overlooking the River Cam west of Saffron Walden. The monument
measures 400m NW-SE by a maximum of 260m NE-SW. The defences, which are
considerably strengthened by the lie of the ground, consist of a ditch with
intermittent traces of an internal bank. The ditch has an average width of
15.5m and is 4.5m deep whilst the bank measures approximately 12m wide and is
between 0.3m and 0.6m high. A small section, 100m long, of the ditch on the
western side of the monument has been slightly disturbed during the
construction of the railway cutting. The area enclosed by the ramparts is
about 6.5 hectares. There are four causeways through the defences, facing
south-west, west, north and north-east, which are all 10m wide except the
northern one which is 5m wide. Which, if any, of these is the original
entrance is unclear. At the north-eastern corner of the monument, inside the
ramparts, is located the Temple of Victory, (Grade II* Listed) built in 1771-2
and designed by Robert Adam. The hillfort also encloses a cottage surrounded
by a brick wall.
The cottage, wall, Temple of Victory and pathway 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.
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.

Despite the slight disturbance of a section of the western part of the ditch,
Ring Hill camp is generally well preserved and will retain archaeological
information relating to its occupation, the economy of its inhabitants and the
landscape in which they lived.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Audley End, (1984)
Other
SMR NO: 151, Information from SMR,

Source: Historic England

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