HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Historic England research records Result
Historic England research recordsPrintable version | About Historic England research records

Historic England Research Records

Badbury Rings

Hob Uid: 209560
Location :
Dorset
East Dorset
Shapwick
Grid Ref : ST9640003000
Summary : BADBURY RINGS a multivallate Iron Age hill-fort, is sited prominently on a chalk knoll rising to 327 ft. above O.D.; it commands wide views in all directions. Together with the adjacent settlement (ST 90 SE 37) it has been identified with Vindocladia of the Antonine Itinerary, and also with Mons Badonicus of Gildas. Its later history includes occupation by an army under Ethelwold, C. 899, and by the `Clubmen' in 1645. The site has not been excavated, but the earthworks indicate at least two phases of construction. The interior of the hill-fort is domed and largely covered with trees. A prominent fir copse, Badbury Clump, within a low embanked circle on the summit of the knoll had already been planted when Colt Hoare visited the site c. 1820. There is evidence of shallow quarrying immediately inside the inner rampart, doubtless to provide additional material for the defences. Detailed surveys of the hillfort and its interior by the RCHME were undertaken in April 1993 and in May 1998.
More information : (Centred ST 964030) Badbury Rings (Camp) (NR) (1)

(Centred ST 9603) VINDOCLADIA (Accepted name) (2)

BADBURY RINGS a multivallate Iron Age hill-fort, is sited prominently on a chalk knoll rising to 327 ft. above O.D.; it commands wide views in all directions. Together with the adjacent settlement (ST 90 SE 37) it has been identified with Vindocladia of the Antonine Itinerary, and also with Mons Badonicus of Gildas. Its later history includes occupation by an army under Ethelwold, C. 899, and by the 'Clubmen' in 1645.

The site has not been excavated, but the earthworks indicate at least two phases of construction. The first phase appears to comprise the two inner ramparts and ditches, enclosing an oval of 17 acres. The inner rampart, 60 ft. to 80 ft. wide, rises 10ft. above the interior and up to 25 ft. above the bottom of the adjacent ditch, which is 40 ft. wide. Immediately outside is a second rampart, standing up to 18 ft. above the inner ditch and from 15 ft. to 22 ft. above the outer ditch; the latter is 40 ft. wide and up to 6 ft. deep. Both ditches have markedly V-shaped profiles. The phase-1 enclosure had two entrances: on the E. is a straight gap through the ramparts, the ends of whcih are slightly inturned; on the W., an inturned entrance through the inner rampart and ditch is protected by a narrow, roughly rectangular barbican formed by the outer rampart, with an entrance at the S.W. corner. Near the centre of the W. side of the barbican, a later gap, perhaps Roman, is cut through the outer rampart and ditch.

In phase 2 the outer rampart and ditch were formed; they lie between 50 ft. and 100 ft. outside the inner defences and are considerably smaller. The rampart is 5 ft. high from the interior and up to 14 ft. high above the outer ditch; the ditch, where it survives, is up to 25 ft. wide and generally flat-bottomed. There are four gaps through the phase-2 defences. Those on the E. and S.W. are almost certainly original and are integrated with the entrances through the inner defences. That on the W. is a continuation of the (?) Roman gap in the barbican. That on the S. is relatively modern.

The interior of the hill-fort is domed and largely covered with trees and scrub. A prominent fir copse, Badbury Clump, within a low embanked circle on the summit of the knoll had already been planted when Colt Hoare visited the site c. 1820. No obviously original features are seen in the interior, but there is evidence of shallow quarrying immediately inside the inner rampart, doubtless to provide additional material for the defences. Apart from Roman coins, urns, a sword found in 1665, apparently inside the defences, and a record of small vases of Roman ware, nothing has been found on the site. A round barrow (ST 90 SE 33 D) lies just within the phase-2 defences on the N.W. (3)

A survey of the hillfort has been undertaken by the Dorset Institute of Higher Education. An AP survey of the surrounding area has revealed several new features. (4)

ST 964 030. Badbury Rings. Listed in gazetteer as hillfort with two phases of construction. The first (questionably) of these was a multivallate structure covering 7.3ha, the second a univallate enclosure of some 16.6ha. (5)

Badbury. Description with air photograph and plan. (6)

A detailed survey of the hillfort by the RCHME was undertaken between April and June 1993. The defences are as described. In addition, the substantial berm, up to 15m wide, which separates the middle rampart and ditch from the outer enclosing bank is covered in a profusion of low mounds and shallow hollows. Several of the hollows, especially on the SE have a rounded sub-rectangular shape, measuring up to 17m in width and are regular enough to suggest that they may be sites of buildings. There are also traces of a very slight quarry ditch, no more than 0.2m deep, running parallel with the inside of the outer rampart and most noticeable on the NW side.

A number of other potential structures are terraced into a quarry scoop immediately behind the innermost rampart. These show little variation in form, all being sub-rectangular in appearance with diameters between 4.5m to 10m and are particularly concentrated around the SW. The quarry scoop itself is a shallow scarp, up to 0.4m deep, set back and running parallel to the rampart. In total up to 28 potential hut sites have been identified within the quarry scoop.

A spread of burnt flint was observed across the SE section of the interior.

Further interior features have been recorded as separate child records - (UID's 1060432; 1060444; 1060452; 1060498).

A full field survey report is available in the NMR Archives. (7)

The summit area of Badbury rings was cleared of undergrowth in 1997 by the National Trust and the young conifer plantation was thinned out. Post and wire fences which protected the plantation were removed as part of this work. This comprehensive clearance offered the opportunity for the RCHME to complete the large scale survey of the hilltop which proved impractical in 1993 because of the vegetation cover.

Three tree ring enclosures around the summit area of the hill survive. They are visible as banks each with vestiges of a ditch on the downhill side and they are all uniformly circular. The outer bank, c123.5m in overall diameter is on average 3.6m wide and 0.6m high. The middle bank, c 96.0m in overall diameter is on average 3.5m wide and 0.4m high whilst the inner bank is c 70.0m in overall diameter and on average 3.5m wide and 0.3m high. The ditches, up to 0.4m deep, are best preserved on the SW side of the hill. None of these banks are interrupted but all have been cut or damaged by either access paths, tree growth, stump removal, or various forms of erosion. The concentric banks overlie or in some cases absorb linear scarps which occur either along or across the contours of the hillslope. These scarps reveal that earthworks existed before the tree banks were constructed.

The hilltop is now somewhat disturbed by slight amorphous mounds and shallow depressions. The earthworks are distorted by the tree growth, holes caused by uprooted trees and superficial disturbance : the result of trampling by deer sheltering under the trees. A slight, polygonal shaped earthwork defined by an 0.2 - 0.3m high scarp appears to enclose the summit but it is confused by numerous short scarps and shallow pits. Its origin and function, if any, are uncertain.

One or two of the shallow depressions may prove to mark occupation sites but others are almost certainly caused by uprooted trees. A number of the depressions especially the large sub-square scoop on the northern slope cuts through the inner, post-medieval, tree enclosure bank.

A compass viewpoint has been established on the summit and five concrete blocks, anchor points for the tensioning wires and halyards of a mast, occur on the western slope. (The three large concrete blocks are each 1.6m by 1.5m with three iron hoops set in one side. The two smaller blocks are each 1.0m by 0.9m with two iron hoops, each set in opposing sides) (8)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1902
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : OS Ro Brit Map 4th Ed 1978
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number :
Source : Badbury Rings hillfort (1993)/ink survey
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number :
Source : Badbury Rings hillfort (1993), sheet2/pencil survey
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number :
Source : Badbury Rings/pencil survey
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number :
Source : Badbury Rings hillfort (1993), sheet1/pencil survey
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number :
Source : Badbury Rings, (sheet 1) part of innner ramparts and E and W entrances/pencil survey
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number :
Source : Badbury Rings (1998)/ink survey
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number :
Source : Badbury Rings Hillfort (1993)
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number :
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : CBA N/L Group 12 April 1987 11
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : RCHM Dorset 1975 61-3 plan
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : BAR 62 British Hill-Forts: An Index 1979 205 (AHA Hogg)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Wessex from the air
Source details :
Page(s) : 58-61
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : JD Donachie/19-May-1994/RCHME Field Survey Report: Badbury Rings, Shapwick, Dorset
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Fletcher M.J. 12-MAY-1998 RCHME Field Investigation
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number :
Source : Badbury Rings, (sheet 2) part of outer ramparts/pencil survey
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number :
Source : Badbury Rings, Roman road and barrows/pencil survey
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number :
Source : Badbury Rings/pencil profiles
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Univallate Hillfort, Multivallate Hillfort
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence : Find

Components and Objects:
Period : Roman
Component Monument Type : Findspot
Object Type : COIN, SWORD, VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DO 22
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : ST 90 SE 45
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1060432
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1060444
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1060452
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1060498
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1060514
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1060432
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1060444
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1060452
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1060498
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : BADBURY RINGS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1965-01-01
End Date : 1965-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON ST 90 SE 45
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : RCHME FIELD SURVEY: BADBURY RINGS
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-04-01
End Date : 1993-06-01
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON ST 90 SE 110
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1996-08-09
End Date : 1996-08-09
Associated Activities : BADBURY RINGS
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1998-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31
Associated Activities : BADBURY RINGS UPDATE PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1998-05-12
End Date : 1998-05-12
Associated Activities : BADBURY RINGS (SOUTH-WEST SIDE)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : BADBURY RINGS
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : BADBURY RINGS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2005-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31