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Weald Park



Poor South Weald Camp has been badly treated by the passage of time, of that there can be no doubt. Firstly, by its incorporation within a deer park in medieval times, then by having a road driven through its centre... and last but not least... by having its eastern half remodelled as a cricket ground! To be honest, it's a wonder anything exists at all.... but thankfully it does.

The western half of the enclosure can be freely visited, lying as it does within the Weald Park Country Park. Not so the eastern, since the cricketing chaps would no doubt think it very bad form if a traveller was to go walkabout during a game. However I'd suggest the whole of the enclosure is worth seeing. And it costs nothing to ask permission, does it not?

Essex HER [SMR 531] has quite a bit of data regarding the site, including:

'On high ground partly within the eastern boundary of Weald Park. It is approximately circular, enclosing about 7 acres. On the east side is a rampart and steep scarp. If there was an external ditch it has gone, the northern section of defences has almost disappeared. The site of the entrance is doubtful.Two trenches were excavated across the defensive ditches in 1990 in an attempt to confirm the Late Iron Age date. Three years after the excavation, a detailed contour survey of the earthwork and its immediate environs was undertaken as part of a separate project aimed at assessing the archaeological potential of the Essex Country Parks.The two trenches excavated sectioned the univallate defences in the north-west and south-west quadrants. Both the excavations and the contour survey date the beginning of the construction of the hillfort to the Late Iron Age. Dating is provided by small amounts of Late Iron Age pottery in the rampart make-up. One trench had a well-defined linear cut interpreted as a slot for a revetment at the rear of the rampart. Within the area enclosed by ditch and rampart were a number of post holes also dated to the late iron Age; they may represent internal structures.

[FAU. 1994. South Weald Surface Model; Medlycott, Maria et al. 1995. South Weald camp - probable late Iron Age hill-fort; excavations 1990; Isserlin, RMJ. 1995. South Weald Camp, Brentwood and Langdon Hills, Basildon: Analytical Earthwork Survey.]'
2nd January 2012ce
Edited 2nd January 2012ce

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