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St Catherines Hill Hillfort

Hob Uid: 230614
Location :
Hampshire
Winchester
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : SU4840027620
Summary : A large univallate hillfort situated on a steep sided chalk hill. The hillfort defences completely enclose the rounded hilltop, forming a north-south aligned, oval shaped interior area of approximately 9 hectares. The defences are relatively uniform, surviving around the perimeter as a large rampart up to 7.5 metres high flanked by an outer ditch up to 2 metres deep and a low, ill-defined counterscarp bank. They follow the natural contour of the hilltop and climb in elevation to the north east where the hill forms a low saddle to Twyford Down. At this point there is access to the interior by way of an original entrance formed by a causewayed gap through the splayed ends of the counterscarp bank and the inturned ends of the ramparts. Part excavations in 1927 and 1928 indicated that the hilltop had originally formed an unfortified Iron Age settlement, dated at 550-450 BC, before the defences were constructed at around 250-200 BC. The original wide entrance through the ramparts was revetted with timber and included guard houses set in bays in the ramparts on either side. It was then altered during the second century BC, narrowing the entrance passage and strengthening the revetment with chalk blocks, before the site was abandoned at or shortly after 50BC. The excavations recovered pits, ditches and artefacts covering the whole range of occupation of the site. The excavations also recovered buried remains relating to the laster use of the monument including Roman pottery and coins, dated to the first to third centuries AD. Scheduled.
More information : [Centred at SU 4840 2762] St. Catherine's Hill [T.I.]
Camp [O.E.] (1)

Contour type hillfort encircling St. Catherine's Hill, Winchester,
consisting of a rampart and outer ditch and a non-continuous
counterscarp bank [see plan AO/61/336/8]. There is a single entrance
of the inturned type on the N.E.
Excavations in 1927 and 1928 indicated that the hillfort was preceded
by an unfortified Iron Age 'A' settlement of 550-450 B.C; attested
by pit-dwellings and pottery.
About La Tene I or early La Tene II period (250-200 B.C.) the hill
was fortified, and about 150-100 B.C. (La Tene II) the entrance was
re-fortified with a further occupation period. Belgic invasion put
an end to the occupation about or soon after, 50 B.C. (2)

A 25-inch survey has been made of the defences. They make the maximum
use of the natural chalk hill, the slopes of which are extremely
steep on the south and west sides and shallower, but still of
considerable defensive value, on the north and east.
The inner slope of the rampart is compensatingly stronger where the
natural slopes are weakest, and varies from 0.2 m. in the western
quadrant to 1.8 m. in the eastern quadrant.
The outer slope of the rampart is largely a scarping of the natural
slope, and is a fairly uniform 6.5 m. in height throughout its length. The outer ditch has an ill-defined counterscarp bank which fades completely in the southern and north-western quadrants, where the natural slopes are steepest. The ditch varies from 0.4 m. deep on the western side to a maximum depth of 1.8 m. on the east. At one point on the north side there are traces of a possible second outer ditch but this may be the result of quarrying or the remnants of a hollow way.
The well-defined original entrance is on the N.E. side. The defences
are breached by modern footpaths at various points, but apart from
these slight mutilations the rampart and ditch are very well
preserved.
Apart from traces of the medieval occupation [see SU 42 N.E. 14,37.5] the only internal features visible are a number of small pits.

No change.Published 1/2500 correct. (4)

Re-assessment of the 1930 excavations, largely confirming the earlier
conclusions, but with some revision of the construction sequence of
the entrance in the light of recent excavations at Danebury (SU 33
NW 22). (5)

SU 484 276. St Catherine's Hill. Listed in gazetteer as a univallate hillfort covering 9.2ha. (6)

St Catherine's Hill. Description with plan and profile of ramparts. (7)

This monument was plotted during a 1:2500 dcale ap transcription, which was carried out by the RCHME's APU in 1987. (Coll. No. 997213, Event UID 984187). No new information was added. (8)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1930
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Source Number : 2
Source : Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society
Source details : CFC Hawkes, Myres and Stevens. St Catherine's Hill
Page(s) : 1-162
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Vol(s) : 11, 1929
Source Number :
Source : SU 42 NE 5 (Mizmaze), 14 (St Catherine's Chapel) and 15 (St Catherine's Hill) (1961)
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Source : ;U 42 SE 5, 14, 15, 33, 34 and 37 (SU 4827) (1968)
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Source : St Catherine's Hill and Twyford Down/AP report
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Source : St Catherine's Hill and Twyford Down/ink AP transcription
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Source Number : 2a
Source : Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society
Source details : CFC Hawkes
Page(s) : 211
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 13, 1935-7
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 GHP 08-AUG-61
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 FGA 18-APR-68
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Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Harding DE ed. 1976. Hillforts, 59-74
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Source Number : 6
Source : British Hillforts: an index
Source details :
Page(s) : 211
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Vol(s) : 62
Source Number : 7
Source : An introduction to field archaeology as illustrated by Hampshire
Source details :
Page(s) : 250-4, 403
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Source Number : 8
Source : RCHME/EH/HE Aerial Photographers comment
Source details : Soffe G/JUN 1987/RCHME: ST Catherine's Hill and Twyford Down Project.
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Source Number : 9
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 07-Jul-99
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Early Iron Age
Display Date : Early Iron Age
Monument End Date : -300
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Unenclosed Settlement
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Middle Iron Age
Display Date : Middle Iron Age
Monument End Date : -100
Monument Start Date : -300
Monument Type : Univallate Hillfort
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : C1 to C3 AD
Monument End Date : 299
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence : Find

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

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : HA 28
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 42 NE 15
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 230578
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ST CATHERINE'S HILL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1925-01-01
End Date : 1928-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 42 NE 15
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1961-06-06
End Date : 1961-06-06
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 42 NE 15
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1961-08-08
End Date : 1961-08-08
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 42 NE 15
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1968-04-18
End Date : 1968-04-18
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: ST CATHERINE'S HILL AND TWYFORD DOWN PROJECT.
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 1987-03-01
End Date : 1987-06-29
Associated Activities : Primary, ST CATHERINE'S HILL (WESSEX HILLFORTS PROJECT)
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31