Liddington Castle Hillfort, Wiltshire

Univallate hillfort, roughly oval with a causewayed entrance on the eastern side. Iron Age finds.

It was partly excavated by Hirst & Rahtz in 1976. The rampart was of three phases – the latest phase yielded RB pottery (SU27NW331) & 5-6th century pottery (SU27NW401).

English Heritage carried out a geophysical survey which showed circular large round-house etc.

Recent excavations by Reading University have shown that the ramparts appear to have been constructed in the late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age, making it one of the earliest hillforts in Wiltshire. A second phase of the ramparts dated to the 5th century BC, provides evidence for a long phase of occupation.

English Heritage carried out an earthwork survey in 2000. The hillfort has a simple causewayed entrance on the east side approximately 3m wide, where there are several sarsen stones visible at the base of the rampart terminals which may have been used to face the entrance. A blocked western entrance is visible as a wide-topped section of the rampart between two enlarged terminals. Several sarsen stones are visible at this point. The rampart consists of a bank, ditch and counterscarp. There are four large circular depressions in the interior. Additional circular features have been interpreted as wells shafts or deep pits but this explanation is unsatisfactory as they are crisp, sharp earthworks that show little signs of erosion. It is thought that they are linked to modern military maneuvers or to 18th and 19th century flint quarrying.

Two sherds of pottery, likely to be of early or middle Iron Age date, were found during restoration work on the ramparts of the hillfort in 2000. One of the sherds has a burnished external surface. A number of small features were noted cutting into the top of the exposed Phase 2b rampart, which may be additional evidence for the timber palisade along the top of this rampart phase, Additional features in the form of lateral voids recorded in scars 17 & 56 could be imterpreted as evidence for timber revetment of the Phase 2b rampart. In scare 47 a distinct line of large chalk blocks may represent the previously recorded stone-built revetment of Phase 2b. Scar 41 contained large blocks of chalk which may have been part of the blocking of the south-western entrance to the hillfort.


OS map reference: SU 209 797. Nearest town/village: Chiseldon.

Information © Wiltshire County Council.

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