Ancient Monuments

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Norbury Camp hillfort

A Scheduled Monument in Coberley, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.8333 / 51°49'59"N

Longitude: -2.0163 / 2°0'58"W

OS Eastings: 398975.693248

OS Northings: 214968.163436

OS Grid: SO989149

Mapcode National: GBR 2N6.129

Mapcode Global: VHB24.05FX

Entry Name: Norbury Camp hillfort

Scheduled Date: 17 August 1948

Last Amended: 29 April 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018167

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29790

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Coberley

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Colesbourne St James

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated on a hilltop in
the centre of the Cotswolds. The hillfort has a sub-oval interior of
approximately 3.25ha which rises gently towards the centre. Surrounding the
enclosed area is a single rampart, comprising a bank and an outer ditch.
These survive best in the south where the bank is 6.5m wide and up to 1.4m
high and the ditch is 7.5m wide and 1m deep. On the north east and south west
sides the bank has been largely ploughed away and the ditch has become
infilled, although it will continue to survive as a buried feature. In the
north west corner is a depression caused by later stone quarrying. Beyond
this, traces of the ditch are visible along the north west side but cease
adjacent to a brick lined water reservoir. Aerial photographs suggest that the
entrance to the hillfort was at the northern end of the north east side.
The water reservoir, the make-up of a track that runs across the hillfort,
adjacent to the south west rampart, and all fence posts are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath these features 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

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.

Despite some erosion to the monument caused by cultivation, Norbury Camp
hillfort will contain archaeological and environmental remains relating to the
hillfort and the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England

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