Ancient Monuments

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Defended settlement on Aughton Down, 450m north of Croft Barn

A Scheduled Monument in Collingbourne Kingston, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3067 / 51°18'24"N

Longitude: -1.6891 / 1°41'20"W

OS Eastings: 421771.042317

OS Northings: 156448.13766

OS Grid: SU217564

Mapcode National: GBR 4YN.5R3

Mapcode Global: VHC28.NFX3

Entry Name: Defended settlement on Aughton Down, 450m north of Croft Barn

Scheduled Date: 8 August 1957

Last Amended: 16 April 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016780

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31193

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Collingbourne Kingston

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes an Iron Age defended settlement situated on the upper
slopes of Aughton Down, on the northern edge of Salisbury Plain. The monument
has a level sub-triangular interior with a maximum diameter of 70m and is
surrounded by an inner bank, a ditch and an outer bank. These survive best on
the north and west sides where the ditch is up to 7m wide and 1.2m deep and
the banks survive to a height of approximately 0.25m and are up to 3m wide. On
the east side, although still visible, the defences have been reduced in
height by past cultivation. There is an entrance on the west side, near the
north west angle, where a causeway crosses the ditch. Despite its elevated
location, near the top of the down, the monument does not occupy a strong
naturally defensive position.
Sherds of both Iron Age and Romano-British pottery have been recovered from
the monument.
The fence line on the northern side of the monument and the partridge pens in
the north east corner are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath them is included.

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

During the Iron Age a variety of different types of settlement were
constructed and occupied in south-western England. At the top of the
settlement hierarchy were hillforts built in prominent locations. In addition
to these a group of smaller sites, known as defended settlements, were also
constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops, others in less prominent
positions. They are generally smaller than the hillforts, sometimes with an
enclosed area of less than 1ha. The enclosing defences were of earthen
construction. Univallate sites have a single bank and ditch, multivallate
sites more than one. At some sites these earthen ramparts represent a second
phase of defence, the first having been a timber fence or palisade. Where
excavated, evidence of stone- or timber-built houses has been found within the
enclosures, which, in contrast to the hillfort sites, would have been occupied
by small communities, perhaps no more than a single family group.
Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element
of the settlement pattern, particularly in the upland areas of south-western
England, and are integral to any study of the developing use of fortified
settlements during this period. All well-preserved examples are likely to be
identified as nationally important.

Despite some cultivation erosion, the defended settlement on Aughton Down is a
comparatively well preserved example of its class and will contain
archaeological and environmental remains relating to the monument and the
landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England

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