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Brean Down Fort


<b>Brean Down Fort</b>Posted by thesweetcheatImage © A. Brookes (23.2.2019)
Nearest Town:Weston-Super-Mare (3km NE)
OS Ref (GB):   ST29845890 / Sheet: 182
Latitude:51° 19' 27.63" N
Longitude:   3° 0' 25.23" W

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<b>Brean Down Fort</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Brean Down Fort</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Brean Down Fort</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Brean Down Fort</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Brean Down Fort</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Brean Down Fort</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Brean Down Fort</b>Posted by thesweetcheat


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Summarised description from Pastscape sources:
At the east end of Brean Down, a bank of stones, 4-8 feet high, with an outer ditch, makes an angle, ending on the steep slope on the north and destroyed by quarrying on the east.

In the part of the camp destroyed by quarrying a number of Roman gold coins of Augustus, Nero and Drusus, and two silver denarii of Vespasian, were found by quarrymen and dispersed to private collectors. A Roman cornelian ring is also recorded from the earthwork.

The principal feature of the earthwork is a bank and rock-cut ditch running north south across the ridge. At its southern end the bank turns to the east and follows a natural fault line along the top of exposed limestone outcrop.

Some mutilation of the earthwork and disturbance of the enclosed area was caused by military installations of the 1939-45 war.

A small excavation of the western bank of this feature was carried out in 1974, providing information for the following abstract:-

"Limited excavation at the SW angle of this small and now L-shaped earthwork showed the defences to consist of abutting rubble banks
revetted front and rear with massive drystone walling, with a ditch to the west. Radio carbon determinations indicate that the defences were constructed in the latter part of the Iron Age, and
provide dates for the coarse pottery of Iron Age `A' type in use on the site prior to the construction of the banks and while ditch silting was taking place. The site continued to be frequented in the Roman period."

The site was surveyed at a scale of 1:1000 by the RCHME in June 1995 as part of a landscape survey of Brean Down. The remains comprise an elongated L-shaped bank and ditch on the eastern side of Brean Down, centred at ST 29805900. Although the earthworks do not form a hillfort in the generally accepted definition of the term, the historical evidence, the scale of the western and southern ramparts, and the excavated evidence for Iron Age occupation, suggests that the term hillfort is appropriate for these earthworks.

The best preserved sections of the earthworks are the western rampart and ditch, and the western end of the southern rampart. The western rampart runs for 45m N-S and is, on average, 2m high and 2m wide. The ditch is present for some 25m on the outer side of the western rampart, south of the Military Road, and is rock-cut at its southern end. The ditch is 1.5m deep and 3.5m wide, giving a maximum width for the defences of 10m. North of the Military Road, the ditch has been disturbed by the construction of a 20th century military building.

The southern rampart utilises an outcrop of bedrock for much of its length. It is fronted by a narrow ledge 5m wide and 30m long at its western end. The rampart is breached at a point 35m east of the south-western angle; this is probably the result of erosion caused by a footpath. East of this breach, the earthwork is smaller in scale and comprises a bank, 110m long, 1.5m wide and 0.5m high. Disturbance caused by the construction of the Military Road occurs at ST 29895887, and east of this the bank changes direction and becomes less well-defined. The bank terminates at the Military Road at its eastern end, where it has been much disturbed by quarrying. There is no evidence for its extension east of the Military Road.

On the northern side of the earthwork, the ground falls away very sharply to the cliffs on the edge of Brean Down; this area has been disturbed by the construction of 20th century military buildings and no defensive remains are visible. None are shown on a 19th century map of Brean Down, which depicts the earthwork as very similar to its present day appearance.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
20th March 2019ce
Edited 20th March 2019ce