Ancient Monuments

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Slight univallate hillfort on Swinhope Hill 430m north west of Glen Innes House

A Scheduled Monument in Binbrook, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.4349 / 53°26'5"N

Longitude: -0.1788 / 0°10'43"W

OS Eastings: 521082.383766

OS Northings: 394673.73616

OS Grid: TF210946

Mapcode National: GBR WX6Q.2D

Mapcode Global: WHHJB.7X3L

Entry Name: Slight univallate hillfort on Swinhope Hill 430m north west of Glen Innes House

Scheduled Date: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018839

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29730

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Binbrook

Built-Up Area: Binbrook

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Binbrook St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes the buried remains of a slight univallate hillfort
constructed during the Iron Age in a prominent position on Swinhope Hill.
Situated 430m north west of Glen Innes House, above the steep sided valley of
the Waithe Beck, the hillfort commands a clear view both of the valley and the
river's natural crossing point at its head.

Although the hillfort is no longer visible on the ground, it can be seen from
the air and has been recorded on aerial photographs since 1976. The
photographs show a series of cropmarks (areas of enhanced crop growth
resulting from higher levels of moisture retained by the fills of the buried
features) representing the infilled perimeter ditch of the hillfort itself
together with an external enclosure abutting the north eastern side. This
enclosure is also included in the scheduling.

The area of the hillfort is defined by a single roughly `D' shaped ditch
measuring a maximum of 120m long by 90m wide overall. The upcast from this
ditch would have been used to construct an internal bank which, reduced by
ploughing, is no longer visible on the ground. On the eastern side the ditch
turns inward to form a funnel shaped entrance. This is thought to have been
the original access point to the enclosure. The funnel shape would have
facilitated the driving of livestock into the enclosure and would have
rendered potential raiders vulnerable to attack from both sides. To the north
east the ditch is broken by a slight causeway. This may be a later adaptation
intended to provide quicker access to the smaller, rectilinear enclosure which
abuts this side. The enclosure, which is approximately 42m long by up to 35m
wide, may have been a paddock or stock pen.

The aerial evidence indicates that, whilst the hillfort may have had various
functions, including seasonal corralling of stock or acting as a temporary
refuge, there may also be a period of more permanent occupation. This is
suggested by cropmark features representing the remains of pits, possible
internal divisions and at least one round house measuring some 10m in

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 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.

Although the hillfort on Swinhope Hill has been reduced by ploughing it is
otherwise undisturbed. The fills of the buried ditches and other features
will retain valuable archaeological deposits relating to the date of its
construction, its period of use and its function. Organic material preserved
in the same contexts will provide evidence of the diet and lifestyle of the
hillfort's builders and may illustrate the nature of the landscape in which
the monument was set.

Source: Historic England


oblique monochrome print, Everson P, 2922/17, (1976)
oblique monochrome print, Everson P, PLE 2922/19, (1976)
oblique monochrome print, St Joseph J K, AGE 31, (1962)
oblique monochrome print, St Joseph J K, BYW 93, (1976)
oblique monochrome print, St Joseph J K, BZT 67, (1976)

Source: Historic England

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