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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Witts's Ancient Camps - Leckhampton Camp

A further extract from the Archaeological Handbook of the County of Gloucester by George Witts published by G. Norman, Clarence Street Cheltenham, n.d. (1883):

"No. 64. — Leckhampton Camp. On Leckhampton Hill, two miles out of Cheltenham, there is an interesting work of some magnitude. The point of the hill overlooking the valley of the Severn has been cut off by an entrenchment, consisting, for the greater part of the distance, of a single mound nine feet high, with each end resting on the escarpment. About 50 yards from the northern precipice there are two entrances through the entrenchments, one leading into the main portion of the camp, and another, at a much lower level, leading into a deep depression running nearly parallel with the edge of the rocks. Along the line of the entrenchments from these entrances to the escarpment there is a considerable ditch, outside the bank. On the old Ordnance Survey a bank is shown parallel to the northern escarpment of the hill. This has possibly been destroyed by quarrying operations. Professor Buckman, in his "Corinium," speaks of a true Roman well existing in the centre of the camp, sunk through the various strata of the oolitic rock down to the clay beneath. I can find no trace of this, but there are one or two likely-looking hollows in which a little excavation might be interesting. On the outside of the camp, towards the east, is a remarkable round barrow, 4 feet high and 35 feet in diameter; this is protected by a mound 70 feet square and 2 feet 6 inches high. At a distance of over 300 yards from the main position is another line of earthworks, consisting of a single bank, in some places five feet high, running on a curved line, and thus enclosing a very large area, probably for flocks and herds. Several relics of antiquity have been found on Leckhampton Hill, including a bronze helmet, spear-heads, coins, pottery, flint arrow-heads, &c.; and some human skeletons have been discovered at various times. 

See "Archaeologia," vol. XIX, p171. Also "Archaeological Journal," vol. XII, p9. Also Bigland's "History of Gloucestershire," vol.II, p148. Also Buckman's "Corinium," p5. Also "Proceedings Cott. Nat. Field Club," vol. VI, p209. Also "Journal of Archaeological Association," vol.I, p43.Also "Transactions Bristol and Glou. Archae. Soc.," 1879‑80, p206."

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