Vespasian’s Camp, Wiltshire

Univallate hillfort with entrance to north and possibly to south. Road widening in 1964 revealed two phases of construction. Early Iron Age sherds were derived from the second phase within occupation material. Excavation material from the excavation by Faith Vatcher in 1968 is in Salisbury Museum.

An excavation in 1987 found a post-hole/small pit. The rampart building was followed by a period of intense occupation of the hillfort., represented by deposits of domestic waste over 1m thick that accumulated against the inner face of the ramparts. There is a lack of secondary occupation deposits, the pottery dating mainly to the 5th century BC, with Middle Iron Age types being almost entirely absent. The impression gained is that there had been a desire to strengthen the defences, but that occupation did not continue to any great extent afterwards.

A Geophysical Survey was conducted in 1995 in the southern portion of the hillfort. The Resistivity Survey revealed a linear anomaly enclosing a semi-circular area approximately 30m in diam which probably represents a cut or negative feature such as a ditch. It may represent a former dwelling but is larger than might be expected. Its size is more consistent with a Bronze Age barrow. The hillfort rampart is clearly visible as a high resistance anomaly in grid sq. 16 of the survey flanked on either side by narrow bands of lower resistance. Parallel to these is a narrow band which may represent a revetment or counterscarp feature. The magnetometer survey was badly affected by modern ferrous metal.

A well-defined pit was revealed during a watching brief in 2001, at Skye House SU14494149. It is considered to be a post-setting associated with the initial use of the hillfort.


OS map reference: SU 146 417. Nearest town/village: Amesbury.

Information © Wiltshire County Council.

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