Alfred’s Castle hillfort, Oxfordshire.

Alfred’s Castle hillfort, Oxfordshire.

Situated in a large natural ‘bowl’ overlooked by hills with the Ridgeway to the N, just to the west of Ashdown House (National Trust) consisting of an extant small enclosure, 1.2ha, and a ploughed-out large annex enclosure to the N, approximately 4.1ha.

A long history of recognition from Aubrey (17th century) onwards, see Gosden and Lock (2013). The small enclosure is univallate with a good surviving rampart and ditch, approximately hexagonal, three breaks through the rampart at the NE (unknown date), SE (Romano-British) and NW (Iron Age).

Geophysics (Payne et. al. 2006) and excavation (Gosden and Lock 2013) have shown occupation within the small enclosure concentrating within the 5th-3rd centuries BC (C14 and archaeo-magnetic dates and pottery), roundhouses, pits, material culture and environmental evidence, plus a Romano-British farmhouse dating to 1st-3rd centuries AD.

Pre-dating the hillfort are early Bronze Age round barrows and late Bronze Age linear ditches. The large enclosure seems to have been of a less substantial construction, perhaps an annex for livestock.

Information from the Atlas of Hillforts used under a Creative Commons 4.0 licence.

Atlas of Hillforts:  https://hillforts.arch.ox.ac.uk/?query=Atlas_of_Hillforts_4166_0%2CMain_Atlas_Number%2C0137

Wikidata:  http://www.wikidata.org/entity/Q4722169

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