From the A362/B3139/A366 junction near the village of Kilmersdon (said to be the location of the hill Jack and Jill fell down – yes, I also visited that!) take the A362 south and then the first turning on the right. Drive past the farm on your left and you will shortly come to a metal field gate (also on the left) with a large tree trunk placed in front of it. Park here and the camp/enclosure can be seen from the gate.
I climbed over the gate and across the field of long wet grass. The field was free of crop and animals when I visited. Although quite low, only approx 0.5m high, the curving arc of the remains of the bank can be quite easily seen.
Apparently the enclosure covers an area of 0.37 acre. The entrance is said to be on the northeast side.
Not a great deal to see and certainly not worth travelling any distance for although on the plus side access is very easy.
According to the Somerset Historic Environment record this is a small Iron Age enclosure which was refortified in the late first or second century. Leslie Grinsell mentions it in his 'Folklore of Prehistoric Sites in Britain' - it is said to be the site of a fierce battle between two kings, at which both of them died. A large barrow (partially destroyed some time pre 1791) was said to be where the many slain in the battle were interred.
Kingsdown Camp was excavated 1927-9, by H.St. George Gray. The defences consisted of a Pre-Flavian dry stone wall and 'v'-shaped outer ditch, with a Pre-Belgic-Belgic inner ditch. Roman occupation ceased about Mid - 2nd c. Two paved entrances were found, the original to SSE, and The Roman, to NE, where two post-holes of a gate were revealed. [See plan AO/LP/63/100]
The inner ditch produced a quantitiy of Hod Hill type brooches (c. AD 40-50), hearths and finds of Lake Village type, including two currency bars and bone needles. Also found were an iron dagger (La Tene II), o a Dobunnic silver coin (Eisu), (3), an As. of Domitian, two Dupondii of Hadrian, Pre-conquest and RB.pottery. A feature of the inner ditch was a number of burials relating to the Roman occupation. The outer ditch on pottery evidence, very probably dates to the Claudius - Nero period. various banks and mounds in the area of the camp were examined, but their purpose was not determined. They are composed, very largely, of local stone. RB. sherds and flint flakes were found, also a probably re-interred skeleton, and a considerable amount of iron slag. (2-3)
The occupation site excavated in 1927-9, covers an area of approximately half an acre. The enclosing wall is concealed in a low bank. The surrounding ditch survives only on the north and west but its position is indicated by a darker growth of grass for its full extent. Banks ouside the enclosure suggest associated fields, and very parched grass on top of the bank, and a few exposed stones, indicate walling beneath the surface. Resurveyed at 1:2500. All the finds from the 1927-29 excavations are in Taunton Museum (Acc.No.A 422). See AO/64/273/4. Stereo-photographs AO/64/265/2 and 3 and AO/64/265/4 and 5. (4) Kingsdown Camp is a small Iron Age earthwork enclosure, refortified, curiously, in the late 1st/2nd century AD. (5-6)
Additional references (7)(8)