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Historic England Research Records

Dragon Hill

Hob Uid: 229208
Location :
Oxfordshire
Vale Of White Horse
Uffington
Grid Ref : SU3008086950
Summary : A large circular flat-topped mound known as Dragon Hill. The name derives from the mound's associations with the legends of St George and the Dragon. It measures about 10 metres high with much chalk digging around the base, and has a flat circular summit. It is situated below the top of a chalk scarp and is thought to be a natural feature formed by glacial erosion, although this has not been conclusively proved, and indeed it may have been a natural feature that was enhanced to provide a more mound-like shape. It is joined to White Horse Hill by a narrow ridge known as the Shepherd's Steps which leads past the White Horse to Uffington Castle hillfort. Excavations into the top of the mound were undertaken by the owner, Lord Craven, in 1852. He uncovered only topsoil covering the natural underlying bedrock. Occasional Roman finds have been found on the hill, including bones brought to light through quarrying for chalk. The date of the quarrying activity is not known. Three inhumation burials were also found in the hollow between the White Horse and Dragon Hill. It may have been used as some sort of viewing platform for the horse and hillfort, or even for ceremonial activities which have left no immediately obvious trace. The mound is in the care of English Heritage.
More information : [Name SU 3008 8695] Dragon Hill [T.I.]
Roman Coins found [T.I.] (1)

Dragon Hill, on the Uffington/Woolstone parish boundary is "A very large circular mound which may or may not be artificial. It has been known as Uffington Castle [Huntingford (3) says this is not so, the name having always been applied to the nearby Iron Age hill-fort - SU 28 NE 6] a name that supports one theory - that it is a Norman castle-mound. Roman coins have been found on the site". (2)

E. Martin Atkins who excavated the mound circa 1852 concluded that it was natural. (3-5)

Dragon Hill is a large circular flat-topped mound about 10 metres high with much chalk digging around the base. Its position below the top of a chalk scarp is unlikely to be that of a castle mound and it is probably only a chalk outlier. No artificial works (ditch or ramparts) are apparent at the foot of the mound and the top appears entirely natural.

No information could be obtained locally about the Roman coins referred to by authority (2). (6)

SU 301871 Four Iron Age sherds have been found on Dragon Hill (Acc 308/65: 184/67), two of them donated by P H Crampton: he also donated a Roman colour-coated sherd and a rim sherd (Acc 94/65: 313/65). Another colour-coated sherd was picked up on the SE corner ofthe hill at -SU 301868. (Acc 134/67).

A coin of Constantine II (AE), was also found on Dragon Hill by Master R Dunkley (Acc 262/65). (7)

It is situated below the top of a chalk scarp and is thought to be a natural feature formed by glacial erosion, although this has not been conclusively proved, and indeed it may have been a natural feature that was enhanced to provide a more mound-like shape. It is joined to White Horse Hill by a narrow ridge known as the Shepherd's Steps which leads past the White Horse to Uffington Castle hillfort. Excavations into the top of the mound were undertaken by the owner, Lord Craven, in 1852. He uncovered only topsoil covering the natural underlying bedrock. Occasional Roman finds have been found on the hill, including bones brought to light through quarrying for chalk. The date of the quarrying activity is not known. Three inhumation burials were also found in the hollow between the White Horse and Dragon Hill. It may have been used as some sort of viewing platform for the horse and hillfort, or even for ceremonial activities which have left no immediately obvious trace. (8)

A brief description. (9)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1960
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : The Berkshire archaeological journal
Source details : (L.V.Grinsell)
Page(s) : 24
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 40, 1936
Source Number : 3
Source : The Berkshire archaeological journal
Source details : (G.W.B. Huntingford)
Page(s) : 166-7, 170
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Transactions of the Newbury District Field Club
Source details :
Page(s) : 182
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1, 1870
Source Number : 5
Source : The Victoria history of Berkshire, volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 215
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JP 21-NOV-63
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : The Berkshire archaeological journal
Source details : (Reading Museum)
Page(s) : 72, 74
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 62, 1965-6
Source Number : 8
Source : Uffington White Horse and its landscape
Source details :
Page(s) : 24, 34
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Heritage Unlocked: London and the South East
Source details :
Page(s) : 111
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 : Findspot
Evidence : Find
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence : Find
Monument Period Name : Uncertain
Display Date :
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Mound, Natural Feature
Evidence : Earthwork

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

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : OX 229
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : CC97/02605
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 226
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 38 NW 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 225401
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 229205
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : DRAGON HILL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1852-01-01
End Date : 1852-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 38 NW 2
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1963-11-21
End Date : 1963-11-21
Associated Activities : DRAGON HILL
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : DRAGON HILL, UFFINGTON
Activity type : DESK BASED ASSESSMENT
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31