Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Tatchbury Mount hillfort

A Scheduled Monument in Netley Marsh, Hampshire

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Latitude: 50.9288 / 50°55'43"N

Longitude: -1.5317 / 1°31'53"W

OS Eastings: 433009.904713

OS Northings: 114475.590757

OS Grid: SU330144

Mapcode National: GBR 75Z.PL5

Mapcode Global: FRA 76PN.73V

Entry Name: Tatchbury Mount hillfort

Scheduled Date: 18 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019193

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30298

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Netley Marsh

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Totton

Church of England Diocese: Winchester


The monument includes a small multivallate hillfort situated on Tatchbury
Mount, a prominent clay hill on the north eastern edge of the New Forest.

The hillfort defences originally completely enclosed the hilltop, forming a
NNE to SSW aligned oval shaped interior of approximately 2ha. The defences
survive as parallel banks between 3m and 4.5m in height separated by a terrace
6m in width, except along the western side where there is a third smaller bank
between them. The third bank was originally continuous but has been disturbed
by later activities. A country house was built on the summit of the hill in
the late 18th century and the surrounding area was extensively landscaped and
planted with trees as part of the formal gardens. Landscaping involved the
partial levelling and terracing of the eastern defences, the cutting of
several footpaths through the banks and the construction of a drainage ditch
on the north eastern side. The road providing access to the house from the
north is thought to follow the line of the original entrance. An Iron Age comb
was reported to have been found on the hill during the latter part of the 19th
century, probably during gardening, although few details are known.

All fences, guide rails, modern services, buildings, stairways and the
surfaces of all paths, roads and hardstandings are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included. The former mansion
house and the ground beneath it are totally excluded from the scheduling.

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

Small multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of varying
shape, generally between 1 and 5ha in size and located on hilltops. They are
defined by boundaries consisting of two or more lines of closely set
earthworks spaced at intervals of up to 15m. These entirely surround the
interior except on sites located on promontories, where cliffs may form one or
more sides of the monument. They date to the Iron Age period, most having been
constructed and occupied between the sixth century BC and the mid-first
century AD. Small multivallate hillforts are generally regarded as settlements
of high status, occupied on a permanent basis. Recent interpretations suggest
that the construction of multiple earthworks may have had as much to do with
display as with defence. Earthworks may consist of a rampart alone or of a
rampart and ditch which, on many sites, are associated with counterscarp banks
and internal quarry scoops. Access to the interior is generally provided by
one or two entrances, which either appear as simple gaps in the earthwork or
inturned passages, sometimes with guardrooms. The interior generally consists
of settlement evidence including round houses, four and six post structures
interpreted as raised granaries, roads, pits, gullies, hearths and a variety
of scattered post and stake holes. Evidence from outside numerous examples of
small multivallate hillforts suggests that extra-mural settlement was of a
similar nature. Small multivallate hillforts are rare with around 100 examples
recorded nationally. Most are located in the Welsh Marches and the south-west
with a concentration of small monuments in the north-east. In view of the
rarity of small multivallate hillforts and their importance in understanding
the nature of settlement and social organisation within the Iron Age period,
all examples with surviving archaeological remains are believed to be of
national importance.

The remains of the hillfort at Tatchbury Mount survive well as a series of
earthworks and buried deposits. The deposits will contain important
information about the dating and economy of the hillfort and the mechanisms
behind its construction, development and eventual abandonment. Landscaping of
the hilltop and hillfort defences in the 18th and 19th centuries also provides
an opportunity to understand its adaptation and use in later periods.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hampshire County Council, , Countryside Heritage Sites, Hampshire: Tatchbury Mount, (1986)
Williams-Freeman, JP, Introduction to field archaeology as illustrated by Hampshire, (1915)
Williams-Freeman, JP, Introduction to field archaeology as illustrated by Hampshire, (1915), 165-7
Hampshire County Council, SU31 SW1,
Title: Ordnance Survey 1st Edition 6"
Source Date: 1864

Title: Ordnance Survey 3rd Edition 25"
Source Date: 1909

Title: Tithe Map, Parish of Eling, Southampton
Source Date: 1842

Source: Historic England

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