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Westbury Camp, slight univallate hillfort, 750m north of Stokewood Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Rodney Stoke, Somerset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.2571 / 51°15'25"N

Longitude: -2.7293 / 2°43'45"W

OS Eastings: 349205.897379

OS Northings: 151132.685205

OS Grid: ST492511

Mapcode National: GBR MK.10CB

Mapcode Global: VH89J.NN0P

Entry Name: Westbury Camp, slight univallate hillfort, 750m north of Stokewood Cottage

Scheduled Date: 12 October 1976

Last Amended: 31 January 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015500

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29039

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Rodney Stoke

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

Details

The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort with earthworks enclosing
an area of high ground on the edge of a plateau.
The area enclosed is about 2.3ha, and of irregular shape. About half of the
enclosed area is fairly level, while the rest is sloping ground lying within
the south western part of the enclosure on the edge of the plateau.
The enclosing earthworks consist of a bank and external ditch around the
higher part, becoming a simple scarp curving down around the south west sides.
The bank is no more than 0.7m high internally, and the ditch 0.5m deep. The
most well-defined sides are to the north and east.
The entrance to the interior is on the eastern side, and consists of a simple
gap and causeway about 5m wide. This faces the plateau from which the approach
is level. On the west tip of the earthworks, shallow internal scoops related
to their construction are visible.
Along the north side, by an adjacent modern stone wall, several quarry
pits have been dug into the earthworks, and there is a small quarry and
limekiln outside the entrance on the east. These all date from recent
centuries.
In the interior of the hillfort the ground is uneven, particularly to the
south where rock strata outcrop on the surface, and there are further
quarry scoops visible. There are small mounds near the centre, and one of
these has been identified as a possible prehistoric round barrow, but all may
be spoil heaps from surface quarrying.
The low banks of medieval field boundaries are present around the enclosure,
with one overlying the earthworks and running across the middle of it. These
are associated with nearby deserted medieval farms.

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 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.

The enclosure at Westbury survives as a good example of its class, accessible
to the public, and with the remains undisturbed.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Cole, H, (1996)
SMR Record 24280, (1995)

Source: Historic England

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