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Remains of Iron Age fort on Bloodgate Hill

A Scheduled Monument in South Creake, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.8831 / 52°52'59"N

Longitude: 0.7454 / 0°44'43"E

OS Eastings: 584825.729849

OS Northings: 335262.54432

OS Grid: TF848352

Mapcode National: GBR R6M.97Z

Mapcode Global: WHKPR.FS6N

Entry Name: Remains of Iron Age fort on Bloodgate Hill

Scheduled Date: 28 March 1951

Last Amended: 27 April 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018342

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30538

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: South Creake

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Creake South St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Norwich


The monument includes the remains of a roughly circular earthwork enclosure,
formerly known as Burgh Dykes or Burrow Dykes, which survive under ploughsoil
on a hill on the west side of the valley of the River Burn, 1.2km from the
river. The enclosure, which is identified as an Iron Age fort and has an
internal diameter of approximately 200m, is surrounded by a ditch which is now
largely infilled, although parts of it on the east and west sides are still
marked by hollows up to 22m wide in the ground surface, and it is visible as a
cropmark on aerial photographs. On the south side of the monument the outer
edge of the ditch is skirted by roads. An internal bank, recorded on a 17th
century map and also on maps made in the early 19th century, as well as in
18th century descriptions, was reduced and ploughed in the first half of the
19th century, but the line of it can be traced as a light coloured soil mark
on the remains of the outer face, which is visible as a scarp up to 1m in
height. The surface of the interior of the enclosure is between 0.8m and
1.4m higher than the external ground level. The maps of the earthwork made
when the bank was still standing show a single entrance on the east side,
corresponding to a causeway across the ditch which can be seen on aerial
photographs. The recorded crop marks also reveal that the terminal of the
ditch on the north side of this causeway turns inward.
At the highest point within the fort, slightly to the west of centre, are the
buried remains of a ring ditch approximately 45m in overall diameter, also
recorded from crop marks and marking the site of a substantial inner

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 known examples of earthwork enclosures in Norfolk which correspond to the
hillforts of the upland regions of England are relatively few in number, and
most were constructed in low-lying, though naturally defensible locations. All
but one of them are located in the north western part of the county. The
enclosure on Bloodgate Hill has the characteristics of a slight univallate
hillfort, and is a good example of this type of monument in a lowland setting.
Although reduced by cultivation, the remains of the bank are still visible and
the ditch is known to survive as a largely buried feature beneath the
ploughsoil. The crop marks recorded on aerial photographs show that in the
interior of the fort, also, there are buried remains of a substantial circular
structure, and it is likely that other, smaller features survive in the
subsoil here. The monument will therefore retain archaeological information
concerning the date and manner of the construction and occupation of the fort,
and it has wider importance in relation to the other surviving Iron Age forts
in the area, which include an enclosure of similar type at Holkham, some 8.5km
to the north, and a small multivallate enclosure at Warham, 11 km to the north
east. As a group, these are a source of comparative information of great value
for the study of Iron Age settlement and society in this part of East Anglia.

Source: Historic England


Letter in file, 1910: West Norfolk, South Creake, (1988)
Norfolk Archaeological Unit, TF 8435/AL/APT 13, (1988)
Norfolk Archaeological Unit, TF 8435/W, (1973)
Norfolk Archaeological Unit, TF 8435/Y/ADR 1, (1975)
Title: The Description of South Cryke...being the west part thereof
Source Date: 1630
Norf R O MC/691/1

Source: Historic England

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