King’s Castle Hillfort, Wiveliscombe, Somerset

King’s Castle hillfort is set on isolated steep-sided and roughly flat-topped hill, much mutilated and defaced by quarrying on a large scale.

The defences consist of inner bank, with a scarp, ditch, second bank and scarp. The finds from the site are: Neolithic flints including arrowheads, borers, scrapers, cores, blades and a knife found in 1950 and 1952. Human bones and a spindle whorl found in 1914.

The interior ramparts survive up to 2.5m in places, 6m high externally and 14m wide. The external rampart on the SE, S and SW sides is 9m wide, 1.5m high internally and 7.5m externally with a small ditch along the perimeter. The ramparts are rather damaged on the SW by soil removal. A cowshed in this area is excluded from the scheduled area.

The interior is arable-cultivated pasture, shown as coniferous woodland on 1920s OS 25″ map. The defences are heavily quarried and wooded and are totally destroyed at the N end, where an unknown portion of the site has been quarried away. They are barely detectable on the E side. A substantial bank survives on W side, surmounted by a later hedge bank. Best preserved at S end, where a staggered entrance between the two lines of ramparts, their E terminals slightly inturned, survive. The outer bank on the W bifurcates 20m W of entrance.

Roman coins of the late C2 were found on the slope in 1711.

Coin hoard in interior found at ST09732816 in 1946. 1139 coins from AD270-4 to AD388 in a pot, at less than 1ft in depth.

The surviving areas of the rampart are under stable woodland, the interior is used for pasture and is not suffering any erosion.

Scheduling revised with new national number (was Somerset 441) on 7 July 1999.

Before the interior was ploughed after WW1 it was reported that ‘foundations’ of buildings could be seen in the interior.

Robertson’s number for the coin hoard is 1498.


OS map reference: ST 096 282. Nearest town/village: Wiveliscombe.

Data kindly supplied by the Somerset Historic Environment Record.

Record created in July 1984

© Copyright Somerset County Council 2007

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