The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Sidbury Hill



Details of Hillfort on Pastscape

A bivallate hillfort, with ceramic evidence for pre-hillfort occupation. Mesolithic and Neolithic flint implements also present.

(Centred SU 216505) Sidbury Camp (NR) (1)
Sidbury Camp, a bivallate Iron Age hillfort (see air-photograph (3)), enclosing 17 acres. (2)
Iron Age A/B sherds (prob Phases 2-3) were found by O Meyrick (2) in 1948 (4), by the ramparts, and by Megaw during an excavation in 1957, on a section of the innermost bank (see plan). (3)
Six Neolithic flints were found in clearing away the base of the chalk rubble core of the inner rampart, where tank tracks appeared to have cut into the original old land surface, below the rampart make-up. Finds went to Meyrick's private collection (2) and Devizes Museum (4).
A double axe mound in the Pitt-Rivers Museum at Farnham is recorded as being found at Sidbury Camp. (5)
A sub-triangular bivallate hillfort enclosing seven hectares, with the remains of an entrance in the NW side which is protected by a ditched outerwork. Four other cuts in the ramparts and mutilations to the outer rampart are the result of former military exercises with tracked vehicles and probably 19th century gravel digging along the west side. No relationship can be established between the fort and the ranch boundary type ditches which converge upon it because of perimetal destruction by tracks and afforestation. Resurveyed at 1:2500. (6)
A possible Mesolithic flaked axe was found on Sidbury Hill in 1954. Devizes Museum Acc. No. 25.1969 (7)
The hillfort is at the centre of a Late Bronze Age/Iron Age boundary complex, however the precise relationship is uncertain as their meeting point, if there was one, would have been destroyed by the construction of the ramparts. Excavations were carried out on selected linear earthworks as part of the Wessex Linear Ditches. One such excavation took place on SU 25 SW 172 (LDP 096) which was situated c. 200m from the hillfort. Here the Late Bronze Age boundary ditch had been recut to form a stepped profile characteristic of Early-Middle Iron Age ditches within this complex. This was in turn sealed by the hillfort ramparts.
There is no structural evidence for a pre-hillfort settlement but Bradley interprets this possibility by the presence of one sherd of Late Bronze Age Plain Ware and eleven sherds of haematite-coated pottery belonging to the All Cannings Cross tradition. These were recovered from the excavation of one of the boundary ditches near the ramparts (SU 25 SW 166 - LDP 100) and must have originated from an existing settlement on Sidbury. (8)

( 1) Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) OS 6" 1926
( 2) General reference VCH Wilts 1 pt 1 1957 92 & 26B
( 3) General reference APs (Crawford colln 1499 undated J K St Joseph CS 022 undt
( 4) General reference WAM 62 1967 115-7 plan illust (J V S Megaw)
( 5a) General reference The Barrow Diggers 1839 (Anon)
( 5) General reference WAM 53 1949-50 258 (A D Passmore)
( 6) Field Investigators Comments F1 MJF 20-APR-72
( 7) General reference Wilts. Archaeol. Natur. Hist. Mag. 65, 1970, 215
( 8) General reference English Heritage Archaeol. Rept. 2 1994: Prehistoric Land Subdivisions on Salisbury Plain 134ff (R. Bradley, R. Entwistle, F. Raymond)
Chance Posted by Chance
9th August 2012ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment