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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Hillfort Atlas

Dr Ferris draws my attention to Oxford's very fine map of all the hillforts you could ever want.

Here's what it says about Crickley:

EN0748 Crickley Hill, Gloucestershire

HER: Gloucestershire 170
NMR: SO91NW 44
SM: 1003586
NGR: SO927161
Status: Confirmed

Summary: Important, excavated promontory fort located on a W-facing Cotswold spur overlooking vale and Gloucester to E. Very steep surrounding slopes on N, W and S, moderate along ridge to E. Single bank and ditch cuts off the promontory in curving line N-S, encloses 3.85ha. Excavations by P. Dixon 1969-93 found evidence of earlier causewayed enclosure and Neolithic settlement and phased construction of hillfort with three phases of timber-laced ramparts and dry-stone wall facing, E ramparts dating from early Iron Age. Earliest phase (Phase 2) of timber-laced ramparts enclosing rows of rectangular buildings, with clusters of small square buildings, possibly 7th century BC. On flat approach and W tip of hill, ramparts with regular pattern of timber internal uprights, horizontal timber lacing. Elsewhere diminished in width and height to become dry-stone wall. Whether this continuous around promontory unknown because of landslips and quarrying. More substantial defences on W interpreted by Dixon as unfinished site. Later hillfort burnt and deliberately slighted. In Phase 3a some refortification of ramparts for 75m N-S of entrance, possibly first stage of reoccupation. Phase 3b intermittent reconstruction of entrance with large out-turned hornwork and solid stone bastions at gate, expansion of ditch to E, and digging of second ring of ditches outside main rampart. Neither completed. This ramparts enclosed settlement of roundhouses on different alignment to the previous settlement of 5th century BC. One larger round house (diameter of 15m) sited just inside entrance. As Phase 2 hillfort, all destroyed by fire and site abandoned. In Phase 3c, later Iron Age unenclosed occupation within old ramparts. Hornwork at NE entrance in third re-modelling phase. Pottery and metal working evidence. On 1st Ed. OS map (1884).

References: Clifford, E.M. 1964. An enclosure on Crickley Hill, Gloucestershire, Trans Bristol Gloucestershire Archaeol Soc, 83, 40-8. Dixon, P. 1976. Crickley Hill, 1969-1972, in ed D.W. Harding , Hillforts. Later prehistoric earthworks in Britain and Ireland, London: Academic Press, 162-176. Dixon, P. 1994. Crickley Hill, volume 1 : the hillfort defences. Dixon, P. 1988. The Neolithic settlements on Crickley Hill, In eds Burgess, C., Topping, P., Mordant, C. and Maddison, M., Enclosures and defences in the Neolithic of western Europe, Bar British Series. Dixon, P. and Borne, P. 1977. Crickley Hill and Gloucestershire prehistory, Gloucester: Gloucestershire County Council. Guilbert, G. C. 1975. Planned hillfort interiors, Proc Prehist Soc, 41, 209, 211, 219. RCHME 1976. Ancient and historical monuments in the County of Gloucestershire, Vol. I: Iron Age and Romano- British monuments in Gloucestershire Cotswolds, London: HMSO, 5. Savage, R. 1988. Village, Fortress, Shrine: Crickley Hill, Gloucestershire, 3500BC - AD500, Gloucester: Crickley Hill Archaeol Trust.

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