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Cholesbury Camp



Cholesbury Hill fort.

Situated in the village of Cholesbury on the north side, a late iron age plateau fort exists.Termed a plateau fort as it lies on level ground.
Known locally as the Danes camp.
Excavated in 1932 by Mr Day kimble, He surmised that the main occupation is dated to the 2nd and 1st Centuries BC.
The site was in use prior to that in the earlier Iron age as a more cruder hand made pottery was found.
Pottery evidence suggests the site continued into the Roman period as some samian was found in some of the hearths.
The excavations cut into the banks and ditches in several places and a trench was cut across the middle of the interior to determine any occupation.

The defences:
The main defences of this oval fort contains 11 acres.
Three quarters of the defences are intact but has been destroyed nearest the village.
The destroyed defences that were filled -in can still be detected in the gardens of the grange and the priory.
In most places where the bank is complete it rises 13 feet above the bottom of the ditch in a 'V'shape.
The opposite bank being almost of equal height.
The bank and ditch was constucted in the Glacis fashion, meaning that the steepness of the bank was deemed sufficient defence.
A second bank and ditch was under construction but never was completed.
This second defence which is inferior circles approximatly half of the primary defence.
Duel defences have been thought to be a defence against sling warfare which came into fashion late in the Iron age.

The gate:
No definable gate remains today, it is presumed to be at the entance to the church which sits inside the defences of the fort(St Lawrence).
There are gaps in the banks but none are defined as a gate..

The interior:
Two ponds exist within the fort. One of ponds nearest the church is known as holy pond and is said to never dry up, presumed to fed by a spring.
Seven hearths were found when Day Kimble cut a trench across the interior.
Some of the hearthes contained pottery suggesting cooking fires.
A portion of the hearthes contained Iron slag (Fayalite magnetite) with hard baked clay earth.
It is presumed that some of the hearths were smelting hearths. These smelting hearths tended to be near the revetment or the back of the defences.
The cooking hearths concentrated nearer the centre of the fort.
Of the finds in the Alylesbury museum. A piece of Nieder mendig lava was found which was thought to be a piece of a quern stone.
A near complete cooking pot was found next to one of the hearths..
The interior of the fort was under the plough until the last war then reverted to pasture so no features exist above ground.

Mr Day kimble suggested that the site was in existance prior to new race or tribe taking over.
Crude handmade pottery dating to the earlier Iron age was supaseded by a superior wheel thrown pottery. This is the time the defences went up.
The defences could have been put up to defend an important resourse.
Iron smelting.. The immediate area has a vast resourse of limestone which is the flux ingriedient in Iron production.
The site is likend to an industrial site in the production of Iron artifacts.
Other sites in the area are associated with the production of Iron.
Brays wood moated site close by has evidence of iron smelting..
Some names exist in the region that hint of a wider iron smelting industry.
Ashley green, cindery wood, kings ash and ashridge are all very close to Cholsbury
Posted by moating sully
20th November 2003ce
Edited 20th November 2003ce

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