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Historic England Research Records

Old Warren

Hob Uid: 1410345
Location :
Dorset
West Dorset
Littlebredy
Grid Ref : SY5844088500
Summary : Remains of a probable Iron Age univallate hillfort. Possibly reused as an Anglo-Saxon burh.
More information : SY58448850) Old Warren (Earthwork) (NAT) (1)

Old Warren earthwork on the N end of a spur (583 feet OD) consists of a scarp 8-10 feet high with a broad outer berm, bounding the half oval end of the spur; the scarp turns in slightly where a trackway crosses it and this trackway is continued along the spur to the S. For part of its length it is sunk and there are traces of a bank on part of its NE side. About 220 yards S of the N scarp are slight traces of another to the w of the trackway curving around as though to join the main scarp on the W The name Brydian, occurrng in a list of burghal hides dating probably from early in the C10th, has been identified with Bredy, and this earthwork may be the remains of one of Alfred's burhs, perhaps never completed. (2)

This site is as described in Authy.2 except that the central rackway consists of two rather mutilated banks approximately 10.0m apart and each averaging 0.2m high, with the track between them. At the N end a small platform occurs without the scarp. The scarp averages 3.0m high and 4.0m wide and is very flinty. Whether this is some form of revetting could not be determined. The whole area is grass covered. The position of the earthwork is a good defensive one, although it is not now in a defensive state, and is apparently unfinished. It is unlike Iron Age hillforts being a single scarp with no defence on the neck of the spur. (3)

Danes Camp or Old Warren is a `battered and mutilated hill fort covered by traces of plough ridges dating from the C13th and C18th'. It is almost certain `that it was the site of Alfred's burh set up between Wareham and Exeter'. (4)

Aerial photography and archaeological field work suggest that Old Warren was an Iron Age univallate hillfort. On the basis of the name `Brydian' used in a grant from Littlebredy to Cerne Abbey of 987, some authorities sugest that Old Warren was adapted as a burh in the C9th-10th, and is the Brydian mentioned between Exeter and Wareham in the Burghal Hidage. However, recent fieldwork in conjunction with documentary research suggests that Bridport was the site of the burh. (5)

Scheduled. (6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:2500, 1902
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Source Number : 2
Source : An inventory of the historical monuments in Dorset. Vol. I : west
Source details :
Page(s) : 38
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Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 NVQ 31-Mar-1955
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Taylor C, 1970. The Making of the English Landscape, 185
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Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Bailey CJ, 1982. The Bride Valley, 9-10
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Source Number : 6
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : DOE (IAM) AMs England, 2 1978, 77
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Univallate Hillfort
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Early Medieval
Monument End Date : 1066
Monument Start Date : 410
Monument Type : Burh
Evidence : Earthwork, Conjectural Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DO 209
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SY 58 NE 98
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :