Ancient Monuments

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Slight univallate hillfort 300m west of Calcott Hall Farm

A Scheduled Monument in South Weald, Essex

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Latitude: 51.6282 / 51°37'41"N

Longitude: 0.2796 / 0°16'46"E

OS Eastings: 557876.568939

OS Northings: 194613.211191

OS Grid: TQ578946

Mapcode National: GBR WT.34Q

Mapcode Global: VHHN2.SBNP

Entry Name: Slight univallate hillfort 300m west of Calcott Hall Farm

Scheduled Date: 31 January 1955

Last Amended: 8 December 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013833

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24882

County: Essex

Electoral Ward/Division: South Weald

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: South Weald St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford


The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated on the crest of a
ridge of sands and gravels at c.100m OD.
The site is almost circular and includes a defensive bank and external ditch
enclosing an area of approximately 2.8ha. The bank is visible on the west side
of the monument as a slight earthwork. The modified scarp slope between the
bank and ditch on this side is up to 3m deep. On the remaining sides the
surrounding ditch, which has become partly infilled over the years,
survives as a buried feature where it is no longer visible from ground
level and the bank has been levelled so that it shows only as a slight break
in slope.
Two trial trenches excavated in 1990 revealed that the buried ditch is up to
1.4m deep and 3.4m wide with a symmetrical and steepsided profile and a flat
bottom c.1.5m wide. Pottery sherds recovered from just above the ditch floor
were dated to about the first century BC/first century AD.
Excluded from the scheduling are the tarmac road surface, cricket pavilion,
all other modern structures, fences and fence posts, although the ground
beneath all of these features is included.

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 150 to 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 included timber or stone round houses; large
storage pits and hearths; scattered postholes, stakeholes and gullies; and
square or rectangular buildings supported by four to six posts, often
represented by postholes, and interpreted as raised granaries. 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.

Part excavation of the slight univallate hillfort 300m west of Calcott Hall
Farm has confirmed the date of the monument and shown that the surrounding
ditch survives well as a buried feature. The interior also survives in good
condition and is believed to contain features and deposits relating to the
construction and occupation of the monument as well as the landscape in which
it was built.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County, (1903), 283
Bedwin, O, Godbold, S, 'Essex Archaeology and History' in South Weald, (1991), 157

Source: Historic England

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