History Society

Idbury Camp Hillfort

The hillfort known as Idbury Camp survives as a visible earthwork, despite the ramparts having been partly levelled into the ditches by cultivation. It is known from stray finds recovered after ploughing to contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction. Further buried remains sealed in the primary ditch fills will provide evidence of the environment in which it was built.

Details

The monument includes a hillfort situated on the east side of Westcote Hill, c.500m south west of the present village of Idbury. Its ramparts have been reduced in height by cultivation but survive as low earthworks. The infilled ditch is clearly visible on aerial photographs. The defences include a roughly oval rampart aligned north east-south west which encloses an area of about 3.5ha. It measures c.10m wide and stands up to 0.4m high.

It was revetted with limestone dry walling and originally stood much higher. Beyond the rampart lies a deep defensive quarry ditch from which material was obtained to construct it. This has become infilled with levelled rampart material but is clearly visible as a darker band of soil 15m wide. To the south it can be seen as a hollow feature through which the road to the village runs. At least one entrance is known to have broken the circuit of defences. It lies on the northern side.

Many finds of Iron Age and Romano-British pottery, metalwork and bone have been made both inside and around the monument, usually after ploughing. Human skeletons dated to either the Romano-British or the early Anglo-Saxon period were also found in a disused stone quarry situated just outside the hillfort, immediately south of the later road. The extent of this cemetery is, however, unknown. The hillfort’s Anglo-Saxon place name suggests that it still stood as an obvious bury or fortified place in the immediate pre-Norman period. Excluded from the scheduling is the boundary fence between the field in which the monument lies and the road; also excluded is the road surface itself, although the land beneath both of these features is included.

Legal

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance.

Info from: Historic England

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