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Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Fourth Report 1972:

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By kind permission of PWD, extracts from the 1972 report. Figure 1 above shows the area excavated during the 1972 season. An aerial photograph taken during the season I posted earlier here:

"Summary

In the fourth year of excavations the area behind the hillfort entrance was stripped.  Here were found traces of six long aisled houses, arranged either side of the road from the entrance and associated with the first defences.  During the second period of fortification a large roundhouse was built in the same area.  Cuttings across the inner bank exposed more of the Neolithic enclosure, and showed that this part of the site was also occupied during the period of the hillfort.  Evidence from the pottery found so far suggests that the site was abandoned before the fifth century BC.

The work was again made possible by the generous support of the Gloucestershire College of Art and Design, in Cheltenham, and we are thanks to the owner of the land, County Councillor Tom Morris, for permitting us to excavate.  Muir-Hill Ltd, of Gloucester, lessees of the quarry, kindly allowed us access through it to the fort, and were most helpful to us.

We are most grateful to the County Valuer's Department of the Gloucestershire County Council for permitting us to live in the County Training Centre, Ullenwood, during the excavation, and to Mr and Mrs Marcinkiewicz for their constant kindness to us during our stay there.  We would like to take this opportunity of expressing our gratitude to the local and other firms who have helped us in various ways, including Chelhire Limited, its proprietor Mr E E Jasper, and Mr John Kear, whose special skill as a JCB operator has relieved that of many worries.  Bowring's of Cheltenham, printers of the text of this and other papers issued by us; Holton Studios in their careful preparation of the litho plates and illustrations; Fred Stephens Ltd; J. Jones and Son; Sharp and Fisher (Builders Merchants) Ltd; Central Motors, Gloucester; A.C. Hands Ltd; G. A. Willetts Ltd; Swanbrook Transport. All these have made our work considerably easier.

The success of the excavation depends on volunteers and adequate financing.  We should be most grateful to any contributions to supplement the generous help from the Gloucestershire College of Art and Design.  Any donations should be made out to the Crickley Hill Excavation Fund, and sent to the Secretary of the excavations, Mr R D A Savage, Gloucestershire College of Art and Design, Pittville, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL52 3JG, from whom further copies of these notes, and copies of the note on previous seasons, may be obtained (1969, 15p 1970 and 1971, 25p all plus 5p for postage etc).  Persons interested in taking part in future seasons of excavation in this series should get in touch with Mr Savage at the address given (telephone Cheltenham 32501).

Crickley Hill

Fourth Report 1972

The fourth season of excavations at Crickley Hill took place between the 30th June and 13th August, 1972.  During this period work was carried on by an average of 80 volunteers a week, and I am most grateful for their efforts both to them and to my site supervisors, Clive Anderson, Simon Bruton, Terry Courtney, Janet Dixon, Chris Gingell, Mike Hall, and Alice Pandrich, whose initials appear on the drawings for which they were responsible.

The Site

Crickley Hill is a spur of the Cotswold escarpment, about 4 miles south of Cheltenham and a mile to the north of Birdlip.  The flat-topped hill is bounded on two sides by cliff edges, and forms a roughly triangular area, whose third side is cut off by a rampart about 300 m long.  The excavations of 1969 on the area of the entrance through this rampart revealed four main periods of occupation: the rampart itself belonged to the second and third of these periods, and was accordingly identified as a Period 2 and Period 3, the latter subdivided because of reconstruction into Period 3a and Period 3b.  Period 4 described intermittent occupation until modern times after the abandonment of the hillfort as a fortification; structures below the first rampart were ascribed to Period 1.  The investigations of 1971 in the eroded bank about 120 m within the rampart compelled the formulation of a separate division into periods of both this area and the interior of the hillfort.  One result of the 1972 season has been to allow correlation of the periods across the site, and in the following account a revised system is adopted.

Phasing of the Site (1972)

Neolithic          

1a        Occupation, revealed by post holes, before the building of the first Neolithic bank

1b        The first enclosure (ditches 309, 311, 319 and 853 = 384)

1c        Occupation, revealed by post holes and a fragment of walling in the filled in Period 1b ditches.

1d        The second enclosure (ditch 304/603).

1e        Occupation, revealed by post holes below the first hillfort rampart.  This period may be identical with any of the preceding periods or maybe a separate occupation between the end of the second enclosure and the founding of the hillfort.

Hillfort

2          The first rampart, built with timbers lacing together the drystone walling, and an inturned entrance passage defended by two gates.

3a        After destruction by fire, the entrance was repaired and the front of the rampart rebuilt.

3b        The entrance was reconstructed to produce a much more formidable defence.

4          And the fort was again burnt, and abandoned; subsequent occupation involved no significant building.

...  this scheme is only interim, and may well be complicated by further digging."

There was a little bit more digging to be done... but only more than twenty seasons' worth...

To be continued/


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