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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 243207

Hob Uid: 243207
Location :
Hampshire
East Hampshire
Worldham
Grid Ref : SU7558037720
Summary : The earthwork remains of a small multivallate hillfort of Late Iron Age date located on the summit of King John's Hill. Partial excavation has uncovered pottery fragments dating to c100 BC and two infilled storage pits. The same excavations revealed pottery and building remains of the 13th and 14th centuries, which may relate to a hunting lodge supposedly built on the hill by King John. Further evidence, including building materials and an oven, indicate post medieval occupation of the site. Scheduled.
More information : (Centred at SU 7558 3770). King John's Hill. (GT). (1)

Authn. of published name and "It is supposed that King John had a house built on this hill for his use during the hunting season". (2)

The hill is a rough, oval, mound c.100 yards or more by 50 and stands c.70' above the surrounding area. It has been quarried for maulm. The top is flat and open and on three sides the slopes are 1 in 3 or 4 for 20-25 feet from the top Dr. Williams-Freeman saw no signs of a bank or ditch and could not be certain if the steep slope was natural or artificial. Trial trenches were dug 'last summer' (of 1939) by Major Ferguson, and Messrs. Curtis and Warner of Alton Museum. Everywhere under c.9 inches of plough soil there are signs of occupation floors of so-called mortar - sandy, gritty material with pieces of maulm-stone, plenty of oyster-shells, tile fragments and pot sherds, all of which appear to be Md. A sherd of a Bellamine jug was found. Three or four short lengths of walls of rough stone have been found and a stoke-hole, c.6 feet in length and 3 feet across, ending in an oven c.3 feet square built of squared stones, all showing charcoal and marks of fire. (3)

"one wall, running 36' across the hill from W.to E. Its thickness varies from 2-3 feet.... Typical Norman bits of pottery, nails, a bit of stag's horn and a good deal of molten
slag, especially from near the 'oven' and a couple of small metal ornaments, half a horse shoe and half of an arrow-head.... Our Sexton told me that he as a youth picked up 10 or 12 coins.... 'they had a king's head'.... when ploughing. What I call 'courtyard' - from various trial holes are revealing, at 15" or so below surface, rough stones set in mortar. The 'Oven'... of squared stones 9'6" long and 3'6" wide, the sides in the body of the oven sloping outwards and made of burnt clay or mortar". (4)

List of museum accessions includes: A note on the results and a plan of excavations by M.Maitland Muller. Two photographs of an IA pit. A replica of an IA. ring-headed pin and IA. pottery. Md. pottery, a cauldron foot, a schist hone presented by Maj. V. Ferguson. (5)

The trial examination of King John's Hill commenced in 1947 is now completed. The following provisional sequence of occupation on the top of the hill has been disclosed.

1. An IA. farm before or after 100BC. Two storage pits, subsequently used as rubbish tips, one producing a ring-headed pin: a scatter of flint chips and pottery.

2. 13/14th. century. Pottery; a schist hone and re-used diagonally-tooled ashlar blocks.

3. Between Tudor times and the 18th. century. Walls and rammed malm floors; an oven, tiles and early bricks.

A cutting was taken through the adjoining earthwork where contemporary debris from the hill might well have been washed into it when it was dug. This produced a 'Tudor' type brick deep in the secondary silting.

A full report will now be prepared. (6)

List of accessions includes: a Medallion, metal alloy, lozenge-shaped with loop, a cross on either side, found 100 yards from foot of King John's Hill, when digging a trench in 1937, presented by H.A.Munday. (7)

The hill is flat-topped, with steep slopes, heavily wooded and in thick undergrowth. At the summit are a number of unfilled trenches with accompanying spoil-heaps in which were seen walling of local malm-stone-tile, oyster-shells and Md. pot-sherds. No plan was available of these excavations (contrary to Authy. 8, the plan is not at Alton Museum, and no reply was received to a letter sent to Mr. Maitland Muller).

Halfway down the slopes of the hill, to the east and south is a shelf c.15.0m. wide which is possibly the 'earthwork' mentioned by the preceeding authorities. It appears to be natural and has been probably caused by the differential weathering of the underlying strata.

The site is a natural defensive position and an obvious occupation-site. The tradition of a hunting-lodge here is still current locally and the brief details of excavation lend it some support. However, the association with King John may be only the common legendary attribution prevalent in Hampshire. (8)

Iron Age Settlement. (L.B.). (site of) (T.I.). (9)

No change except that the excavation trenches centred at SU 7558 3772, are overgrown and no trace of walling remains to be seen. (10)

SU 75593769. The earthwork remains of a small multivallate hillfort of Late Iron Age date located on the summit of King John's Hill. Partial excavation has uncovered pottery fragments dating to c100 BC and two infilled storage pits. The same excavations revealed pottery and building remains of the 13th and 14th centuries, which may relate to a hunting lodge supposedly built on the hill by King John. Further evidence, including building materials and an oven, indicate post medieval occupation of the site. Scheduled. (11)

In 1374, John de Burghersh conveyed East Worldham to the King, who may have built a new lodge within Worldham Park. There is documentary evidence for minor works to the manr house, but none to a hunting lodge. (12)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1910
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
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Source Number : 2
Source : Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Object Name Book reference
Source details : Rev. O.N.B., (1937), 1
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
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Source Number : 10
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 FGA 01-APR-68
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Source Number : 11
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : EH Scheduling amendment, 10-OCT-2001
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
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Source Number : 12
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 2 : the Middle Ages
Source details :
Page(s) : 929
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2a
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : W.K. Heaton, Agent
Page(s) :
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Plates :
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Source Number : 3
Source : Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 398
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 14, 1938-40
Source Number : 4
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Letter to J.P Williams-Freeman from Maj. V. Ferguson dated 19.8.39 (Williams-Freeman MSS.)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Source Number : 5
Source : Alton Museum Report
Source details : Alton Museum Report, No16, (1949), 18
Page(s) : 18
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 16
Source Number : 6
Source : Alton Museum Report
Source details : Alton Museum Report No17, (1950), 5, (M.Maitland Muller)
Page(s) : 5
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 17
Source Number : 7
Source : Alton Museum Report
Source details : Alton Museum Report, No18, (1951), 17
Page(s) : 17
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 18
Source Number : 8
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 WCW 04-MAY-56
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Source Number : 9
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" 1967
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Late Iron Age
Display Date : c 100 BC
Monument End Date : 110
Monument Start Date : 90
Monument Type : Multivallate Hillfort, Scarp, Storage Pit
Evidence : Earthwork, Find, Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : C13th to C14th
Monument End Date : 1399
Monument Start Date : 1200
Monument Type : Building, Hunting Lodge
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Conjectural Evidence, Find
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Dates from the Tudor period
Monument End Date : 1603
Monument Start Date : 1485
Monument Type : Building
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Used until the C18
Monument End Date : 1799
Monument Start Date : 1700
Monument Type : Building
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Period : Late Iron Age
Component Monument Type : Multivallate Hillfort, Scarp, Storage Pit
Object Type : VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery
Period : Medieval
Component Monument Type : Building, Hunting Lodge
Object Type : VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : HA 465a
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : HA 465b
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : HA 465c
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 34137
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 73 NE 4
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : KING JOHN'S HILL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1939-01-01
End Date : 1939-12-31
Associated Activities : KING JOHN'S HILL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1947-01-01
End Date : 1950-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 73 NE 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1956-05-04
End Date : 1956-05-04
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 73 NE 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1968-04-01
End Date : 1968-04-01