Brean Down Hillfort, Somerset.

Brean Down hillfort comprises a bank and outer ditch at the east end of Brean Down.
In the C18-19, before quarrying, it was described as a square earthwork.

Referred to as a hillfort, occupied by a derelict army camp, which may be connected with the Roman or post-Roman occupation of the temple site (PRN 10117).

Brean Down at low tide. Henry Rothwell.

Brean Down at low tide. Henry Rothwell.

During quarrying a number of Roman finds were made including gold coins of Augustus, Nero, and Drusus, two silver denarii of Vespasian and a Roman cornelian ring. All are now dispersed. The principal feature of the earthwork is a bank and rock cut ditch running N-S across the ridge. At its S end the bank turns E and follows a natural fault line along the top of an outcrop. Some disturbance of the earthwork was caused by WWII military installations (see PRNs 1236212380). It is not a hillfort in the usually accepted Iron age fashion.

A small excavation in 1974 disproved the proposed post-Roman date, see PRN 17220.
There are no clear indications of defences on the N side, though they may have been destroyed The simple gap in the centre of the W side may be original but it is now occupied by a military road and is not mentioned in earlier accounts.

Ditch 5m wide and 1.25m deep with a bank on the E side. This is 5m wide and 1.5m high, built of stone. The bank is topped by the remains of a drystone wall of large irregular blocks with only one course apparent. There is a small amount of bracken but generally free of vegetation.

Rescheduled as part of larger area with new national number on 17/9/1993. Previously Somerset 217.


OS map reference: ST 298 589. Nearest town/village: Brean.

Data kindly supplied by the Somerset Historic Environment Record.
Record created in December 1983
© Somerset County Council 2007

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