Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Hillfort known as The Castle Fort at Castlebank Plantation

A Scheduled Monument in Aldridge North and Walsall Woo, Walsall

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 52.6272 / 52°37'37"N

Longitude: -1.9098 / 1°54'35"W

OS Eastings: 406200.697187

OS Northings: 303270.961016

OS Grid: SK062032

Mapcode National: GBR 3CZ.9Z2

Mapcode Global: WHBFW.M7S8

Entry Name: Hillfort known as The Castle Fort at Castlebank Plantation

Scheduled Date: 24 January 1958

Last Amended: 24 November 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017244

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30056

County: Walsall

Electoral Ward/Division: Aldridge North and Walsall Woo

Built-Up Area: Stonnall

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Walsall Wood St John

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

Details

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the slight
univallate hillfort at Castlebank Plantation. It is located on the crown of a
hill, to the north west of Castle Hill Road.

A bank and outer ditch encloses a roughly oval area oriented south east to
north west and measuring 170m long and 140m wide. The earthworks are best
preserved on the north, east, south and parts of the west side, where the bank
varies between 1m and 2m high and up to 8m wide, and the ditch is 1m to 2m
wide and up to 4m deep. There are indications of a further ditch to the north
east and south east, which suggest that the hillfort may originally have been
bivallate with two rings of defences. Where there are small areas of erosion
in the bank it can been seen that the bank was constructed from earth and
river washed cobbles.

In the north west corner of the hillfort a deep former clay pit, now
containing a pond has removed the traces of the banks and ditch, and an access
drive cuts the earthworks on the south western angle. These are not included
in the scheduling. Breaks in defences to the north east where the land slopes
gently to the north suggest that this is an original entrance to the hillfort.
In the south east on the external slope of the bank are the remains of deep
quarry pits.

Small scale excavation and archaeological observation in advance of
development undertaken in the 1980s and 1990s have indicated that
archaeological remains survive within the hillfort despite the construction of
the house and outbuildings.

Castle Fort, a jettied half timbered house with brick and stone was
reconstructed on the hillfort having been moved from its original site in
Wales. In addition, two imported timber framed barns are located within the
banks at the crown of the hill.

Castle Fort, the timber framed barns and all modern paths and surfaces are
excluded from the scheduling, although 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

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 hillfort known as The Castle Fort forms a rarely recorded element of the
Late Bronze Age and early Iron Age landscape of this area. It is well
preserved with almost the entire circuit of earthworks surviving as upstanding
and buried features. Despite some disturbance from the construction of the
house and outbuildings, archaeological recording in advance of development
in the 1980s and 1990s have indicated that archaeological remains survive
within the hillfort. These will preserve evidence including buried land
surfaces below the banks and other features such as storage pits or middens
which will preserve artefacts and environmental deposits which will illuminate
both the natural environment surrounding the monument during its occupancy,
and also provide information about the diet and agricultural regimes followed
by the inhabitants.

Archaeological deposits will also include evidence of the manner of the
construction of the site, phases of repair, extension or later reworking of
the defences and evidence of any structures which may have abutted the
defences. Post hole remains of timber dwellings or other structures used for
storage or small scale industrial processes will illuminate the main uses of
the site and suggest the size of the population occupying it. In addition
artefacts will allow consideration of the sources of raw materials and the
range of trade or exchange contacts exploited by the occupants.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Various SMR Officers, Various unpublished notes in SMR, Descriptive text

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.