Small Down Camp Hillfort, Evercreech, Somerset

Small Down Camp hillfort covers some 5 acres. The defences are bivallate except on the east side where a counterscarp bank c1m high is also present. On the N, W and S the outer bank has been reduced to a scarp and one outer ditch is filled up. The inner bank on the S side has a sharp vertical profile, possibly caused by ploughing, and a flat top. Towards the E end of this side the bank shows as a flat-topped platform with a higher length of earthwork along its outer edge, creating an impression of a wall-walk behind a breastwork. The two entrances on the E and SE are original.

Hillfort encloses a group of about 14 barrows (see PRN 23502). It would appear that the area to the S of the line of barrows has been cultivated at some time, the barrows being just above a slight lynchet which has possibly held a fence. Erosion is starting where cattle climb the slope adjacent to the edge of the woodland on the NE angle.

There are two serious and adjacent areas of erosion on the N side of the SE entrance. Here on the W end of the bank there is a scar 5m wide and 1m high and to the E side of this there is a long trialing scar 7m wide and up to 1m high, much brown soil trodden down by cattle. The area of woodland on the N side is fenced off to the crest of the rampart there. To the W of the woodland, there are at least two badgers active.

Excavated in 1904 by H. St. G Gray who made eight small cuttings, four in the ditch terminals at the entrances, two on the interior barrows and one in the interior. Iron age “A” pottery was found in the ditches and in the barrows, in addition to “2 fragments of rather later pottery” (perhaps RB) in the upper part of the ditch fill.

Scheduled as AM 257a. For the barrow cemetery see PRN 23502 and the individual barrows, PRNs 23488 23489 23490 23491 23492 23493 23494 23495 23496 23497 23498 23499 23500 23501.

The site is (1998) in generally very good condition under permanent pasture. There are some small areas of cattle poaching and badger disturbance.

Generally in the same condition as in 1998. The erosion scar on the east side of the southern entrance requires repair and there are plans for scrub and badger removal.


OS map reference: ST 6664 4063. Nearest town/village: Evercreech.

Data kindly supplied by the Somerset Historic Environment Record.

Record created in May 1985

© Copyright Somerset County Council 2007

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