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Bury Wood Camp hillfort and earthwork enclosure 750m north of Raffinwood House

A Scheduled Monument in North Wraxall, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4644 / 51°27'51"N

Longitude: -2.2629 / 2°15'46"W

OS Eastings: 381832.409446

OS Northings: 173969.213681

OS Grid: ST818739

Mapcode National: GBR 0PN.4PL

Mapcode Global: VH968.QGK7

Entry Name: Bury Wood Camp hillfort and earthwork enclosure 750m north of Raffinwood House

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1925

Last Amended: 16 April 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018385

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28993

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: North Wraxall

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Colerne with N Wraxall

Church of England Diocese: Bristol


The monument includes Bury Wood Camp, a large multivallate hillfort located
on a promontory of Colerne Down at the southern edge of the Cotswold Hills
between two spurs of a river valley.
The enclosed area is sub-triangular with a slightly rounded hilltop of 9.2ha
surrounded by a ditch 4m wide and up to 1m deep, and an outer bank up to 1.5m
high on the east and north western sides and up to 2m high on the south
western side, across the neck of the promontory. On the south western side,
where there are no natural defences, there is a further ditch 4m wide and 1m
deep and an outer bank up to 2m high and 3m wide. These are crossed by many
causeways, interpreted as an indication that the construction of the monument
was never completed.
An entrance in the middle of the south western side is modern. At the north
eastern corner the inner bank turns inwards to form a funnel shaped entrance
leading to a hollow way running down the steep scarp into the valley below.
Another entrance about a quarter of the way along the north western side also
consists of inward turning ramparts forming a funnel shaped entrance. A small
enclosure within the camp is visible on aerial photographs. It is circular,
72m in diameter, with a bank and outer ditch.
Partial excavation of the site in 1959-60 has showed that an earlier structure
existed at the north east entrance, indicated by drystone revetments within
the northern rampart. In a second stage the entrance was remodelled and
widened. At the north west entrance, four staggered post holes were uncovered
as well as a cylindrical cavity 0.66m deep, interpreted as a gate post hole.
Flint artefacts including scrapers, cores and flakes have been found within
the camp as well as fragments of querns and a sarsen artefact.
All fence posts and cattle troughs 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

Large multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of between
5ha and 85ha in area, located on hills and defined by two or more lines of
concentric earthworks set at intervals of up to 15m. They date to the Iron
Age period, most having been constructed and used between the sixth century BC
and the mid-first century AD. They are generally regarded as centres of
permanent occupation, defended in response to increasing warfare, a reflection
of the power struggle between competing elites.
Earthworks usually consist of a rampart and ditch, although some only have
ramparts. Access to the interior is generally provided by two entrances
although examples with one and more than two have been noted. These may
comprise a single gap in the rampart, inturned or offset ramparts,
oblique approaches, guardrooms or outworks. Internal features generally
include evidence for intensive occupation, often in the form of oval or
circular houses. These display variations in size and are often clustered,
for example, along streets. Four- and six-post structures, interpreted as
raised granaries, also occur widely while a few sites appear to contain
evidence for temples. Other features associated with settlement include
platforms, paved areas, pits, gullies, fencelines, hearths and ovens.
Additional evidence, in the form of artefacts, suggests that industrial
activity such as bronze- and iron-working as well as pottery manufacture
occurred on many sites.
Large multivallate hillforts are rare with around 50 examples recorded
nationally. These occur mostly in two concentrations, in Wessex and the Welsh
Marches, although scattered examples occur elsewhere.
In view of the rarity of large multivallate hillforts and their importance in
understanding the nature of social organisation within the Iron Age period,
all examples with surviving archaeological potential are believed to be of
national importance.

Bury Wood hillfort survives well and partial excavation has shown it contains
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, the
economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grant King, D, 'Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine' in Bury Wood Camp, (1969), 21-50
Grant King, D, 'Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine' in Bury Wood Camp, (1969), 21-50

Source: Historic England

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