Barbury Castle Hillfort, Wiltshire

Barbury Castle hillfort – a bivallate hillfort of 11.50 acres. Entrances at E and W. E entrance has outworks. Much IA pottery and a blacksmiths hoard including chariot fittings found. Dug by Reverend H Harris c1875. A fragment of human skull found in 1990 on SE rampart.

Geophysical survey in 1996 revealed a density of sub-surface features. An earthwork survey by the RCHME in 1998 recorded many features, The forework outside the E entrance sits at an angle to the main ramparts and has been cut by the outer ditch, suggesting it could have been re-used as an outwork. The scarp around the northern defences, possibly an unfinished third rampart, might alternatively be the remnant of another earlier enclosure.

The inner bank of the hillfort measures c10m across with a level rampart 5m wide and standing up to c3m above the height of the interior. The ditch was constructed by both digging into the natural slope of the hill and building up the rampart below to form its outer edge. This inner ditch measures up to 24m wide and is up to 10m below the top of the ramparts. The outer rampart measures up to 15m wide with a 7.5m wide top. This stands up to 3.5m above the surrounding ground level.

The inner ditch is narrower, measuring c10m wide and standing open up to 3m deep. Beyond this, to the north, lies a slight counter-scarp bank which has been much disturbed by quarrying in the past. There are two original entrances, situated to the east and west of the enclosure. A former track running between these follows the parish boundary between Wroughton and Ogbourne St Andrew. The entrances both measure c10m wide and cross natural causeways left when the ditches were built. The eastern entrance is defended by a right angled outwork extending out from the main earthworks. This measures c7m wide and has become infilled due to cultivation over the past hundred years.


OS map reference: SU 1493 7629. Nearest town/village: Broad Hinton.

Information © Wiltshire County Council.

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