Ancient Monuments

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Frankenbury hillfort

A Scheduled Monument in Godshill, Hampshire

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Latitude: 50.9363 / 50°56'10"N

Longitude: -1.7633 / 1°45'47"W

OS Eastings: 416728.211432

OS Northings: 115230.426185

OS Grid: SU167152

Mapcode National: GBR 530.C05

Mapcode Global: FRA 766M.LW0

Entry Name: Frankenbury hillfort

Scheduled Date: 5 February 1951

Last Amended: 3 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019125

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34133

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Godshill

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Fordingbridge St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Winchester


The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort of probable Iron Age date
(700 BC - AD 43), situated on a slight promontory at the steep western edge of
a gravel plateau, overlooking the River Avon. The east-west aligned hillfort
encloses a roughly oval shaped area of approximately 4.5ha. The most elaborate
defences are to the east and north east, where they were constructed across
the neck of the promontory. They survive here as a single bank, approximately
12m wide, standing up to 2.5m above the interior and 5m above the base of a
broad ditch that has been partly infilled as a result of modern ploughing. The
remaining defences are on a smaller scale and survive as a simple scarp which
augments the naturally steep slope around the promontory edge. This scarp
stands up to 5m high to the north and south but is nearly non existent along
the hillfort's precipitous western flank.
Access to the interior is by way of a simple causewayed gap through the
ramparts at the eastern end, which has been widened by its later use as a
modern farm track. A second track breaches the rampart on the northern side,
and the ramparts have been further disturbed by the construction of a modern
boundary bank along the top of the scarp on the southern side. Buried remains
associated with the original use of the monument, including traces of round
houses, compounds, granaries, pits and outbuildings can be expected to survive
within the interior of the hillfort.
Fence posts, gates and 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

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 slight univallate hillfort at Frankenbury survives well and can be
expected to retain important archaeological remains and environmental evidence
relating to the original construction and use of the monument and the
landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Sumner, H, The Ancient Earthworks of the New Forest, (1917), 20-1
Williams-Freeman, JP, Introduction to field archaeology as illustrated by Hampshire, (1915), 174-5

Source: Historic England

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