Ancient Monuments

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Hilltop enclosure 190m north west of Farley Mount

A Scheduled Monument in Ashley, Hampshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.0599 / 51°3'35"N

Longitude: -1.4287 / 1°25'43"W

OS Eastings: 440131.55803

OS Northings: 129106.227295

OS Grid: SU401291

Mapcode National: GBR 74K.KL1

Mapcode Global: FRA 76WB.56M

Entry Name: Hilltop enclosure 190m north west of Farley Mount

Scheduled Date: 22 May 1962

Last Amended: 18 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019122

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34130

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Ashley

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Farley Chamberlayne St John

Church of England Diocese: Winchester

Details

The monument includes a hilltop enclosure of probable Iron Age date, situated
on a ridge which projects to the west from Mount Down, a high chalk hill with
extensive views in all directions. The roughly circular enclosure encompasses
an area of approximately 2.5ha of relatively level ground across the top of
the ridge, above steeply sloping ground to the north and south. Subsequent
ploughing has caused significant disturbance to the central and southern parts
of the monument. The ramparts survive here only as faint traces but remain
clearly visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs, which indicate two
parallel banks flanking a central ditch. They are better preserved around the
northern side where, despite being cut by a later boundary bank and modern
footpath, they survive as a shallow, flat bottomed ditch, flanked on both
sides by low banks, up to 7m wide and 0.7m high. Aerial photographs indicate a
possible entrance on the eastern side with a single ditch projecting
approximately 35m to the east, used for guiding stock into the enclosure.
The interior of the monument is divided by the slight trace of a ditched bank
which projects from the ramparts and forms an inner enclosure within the north
west corner of the monument. A small number of Iron Age pot sherds have been
recovered from the interior of the monument, and buried remains associated
with its original use, including traces of round houses, granaries, pits and
hearths, can be expected to survive.
A series of low lynchets project to the south from the enclosure's southern
boundary. These form part of an extensive field system that was probably
contemporary with the use of the monument, but they are heavily disturbed by
later ploughing and do not form a coherent enough group to merit scheduling.
Later use of the site is represented by a series of tracks and a possible
boundary ditch which all cross the monument in an east-west direction, and by
a shallow quarry pit in the area of the original entrance.
The fence posts situated on the monument and the gravel surface of the
Clarendon Way footpath that crosses the monument 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.
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

Hilltop enclosures are defined as sub-rectangular or elongated areas of
ground, usually between 10ha and 40ha in size, situated on hilltops or
plateaux and surrounded by slight univallate earthworks. They date to between
the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth-fifth centuries BC) and are usually
interpreted as stock enclosures or sites where agricultural produce was
stored. Many examples of hilltop enclosures may have developed into more
strongly defended sites later in the Iron Age period and are therefore often
difficult to recognise in their original form. The earthworks generally
consist of a bank separated from an external ditch by a level berm. Access to
the interior was generally provided by two or three entrances which consisted
of simple gaps in the rampart. Evidence for internal features is largely
dependent on excavation, and to date this has included large areas of sparsely
scattered features including post and stakeholes, hearths and pits.
Rectangular or square buildings are also evident; these are generally defined
by between four and six postholes and are thought to have supported raised
granaries. Hilltop enclosures are rare, with between 25 and 30 examples
recorded nationally. A greater number may exist but these could have been
developed into hillforts later in the Iron Age and could only be confirmed by
detailed survey or excavation. The majority of known examples are located in
two regions, on the chalk downland of Wessex and Sussex and in the Cotswolds.
More scattered examples are found in north-east Oxfordshire and north
Northamptonshire. This class of monument has not been recorded outside
England. In view of the rarity of hilltop enclosures and their importance in
understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities, all
examples with surviving archaeological remains are believed to be of
national importance.

The hilltop enclosure 190m north west of Farley Mount survives reasonably well
despite disturbance by modern farming and can be expected to retain important
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the landscape in which it was constructed. Although most of the earthworks
remain visible only as cropmarks, the ditches and ditch fills will survive as
buried features and evidence of post holes and other structural remains can be
expected within the interior. The monument's importance is increased by its
direct association with surviving evidence of a contemporary field system and
a later boundary ditch, both of which preserve the relationship between the
enclosure and the wider use of the surrounding landscape.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Cunliffe, B, Iron Age communities in Britain, (1974), 183
Cunliffe, B, Iron Age communities in Britain, (1974), 183-4
Cunliffe, B, Iron Age communities in Britain, (1974)
Bowen, H C, Fowler, P J, 'Rural settlement in Roman Britain' in Romano-British Rural Settlements In Dorset And Wiltshire, (1966), 45
Perry, B T, 'Archaeological Journal' in Iron Age Enclosures And Settlements On The Hampshire Chalklands, , Vol. 126, (1970), 29-43
Other
Crawford, O G S and Keiller, A, Wessex from the Air, (1928)
Crawford, O G S and Keiller, A, Wessex from the Air, (1928)

Source: Historic England

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