Ancient Monuments

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Slight univallate hillfort 850m north east of Busseys Stool Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Tarrant Gunville, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.9399 / 50°56'23"N

Longitude: -2.1006 / 2°6'2"W

OS Eastings: 393029.691593

OS Northings: 115608.759906

OS Grid: ST930156

Mapcode National: GBR 2ZQ.XDW

Mapcode Global: FRA 66HM.FGG

Entry Name: Slight univallate hillfort 850m north east of Busseys Stool Farm

Scheduled Date: 12 July 1962

Last Amended: 24 July 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020611

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33569

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Tarrant Gunville

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Tarrant Gunville St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a slight univallate hillfort, known locally as
Caesar's Camp, situated on level ground on Cranborne Chase at the southern
end of a chalk spur, 850m north east of Busseys Stool Farm.
The hillfort is defined by ramparts which include a bank, about 10m wide
and up to 1.8m high, and an external ditch, 8m wide and 1.6m deep. These
enclose an oval area of 2.23ha. There is an entrance on the north western
side which has out-turned banks and another entrance lies on the south
eastern side; both are about 5m wide. A 25m length of the bank north of
the south eastern entrance has been reduced by ploughing in the past.
All fence and gate posts 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.

Cranborne Chase is an area of central southern England which includes
parts of Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire. This area of chalkland is well
known for the high number and diversity of archaeological sites. These
include a unique range of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age features,
comprising one of the largest concentrations of barows within England, the
largest known cursus in England and a significant number and range of
henge monuments. Other important remains include a wide variety of
enclosures, settlements, field systems and linear boundaries which date
throughout prehistory, the Romano-British and medieval periods. The
importance of this archaeology is further enhanced by the occurrence of
many monuments as rare survivals often with unusual associations. From at
least Norman times, Cranborne Chase formed a Royal hunting ground and much
of the archaeological survival within the area resulted from the laws
which were applied until 1830. The unique archaeological character of The
Chase has attracted much interest and research. During the later 19th
century important contributions were made by General Pitt Rivers, Sir
Richard Colt-Hoare and Edward Cunnington who are often regarded as the
`fathers' of British archaeology. Their research resulted in significant
advances in excavation technique, recording methods and archaeological
interpretation and their pioneering achievement owed much to the
archaeology of Cranborne Chase.
The slight univallate hillfort 850m north east of Busseys Stool Farm
is a well-preserved example of its class. It will contain archaeological
remains providing information relating to later prehistoric land use,
society and environment.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Sumner, H, The Ancient Earthworks of Cranborne Chase, (1913), 30-33

Source: Historic England

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