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Historic England Research Records

Arbury Camp

Hob Uid: 372005
Location :
Cambridgeshire
South Cambridgeshire
Impington, Orchard Park
Grid Ref : TL4449061600
Summary : The ploughed out remains of a Late Iron Age lowland univalliate fort, this may have been a once circular in plan. The western part of the circuit is now buried beneath the B1049 road and was already overlain by part of a medieval field system (please see TL46 SW 36 for details of the field system). The site was enclosed in the nineteenth century, at which time the ditch and bank were partially demolished and infilled. The earthworks have been reduced by ploughing. Excavations in 1970 suggested the site had four periods of use; Neolithic occupation, the constrution of the hillfort in the late Iron Age, later re-use in the Roman period and medieval ploughsoil. Pottery finds indicate Iron Age dates for construction phase of the site although the overwhelming proportion of finds relate to the period of Roman re-use.Evidence for occupation is limited and suggests the site may have had seasonal useage.
More information : Excavation has failed to reveal the age of the almost
destroyed earthwork at Arbury. There is a suggestion that the
defences may have embodied some timber (3).

Roman coins have been found within the earthwork (2a).

Arbury Camp is situated upon nearly level ground at about 43ft.
OD. It was near-circular in plan of which only part of the E.
side remains. This consists of a much ploughed-down rampart
15.0m. wide, up to 0.7m. in height, with no evidence of a
ditch. Traces of the remainder of the work are still visible.
The remains fall within a chicken farm and are in a poor state
of preservation.

This earthwork was probably similar to and contemporary with
"War Ditches" [qv. TL 45 NE 16 Iron Age 'A`] (2)

Published survey (25" 1926) revised.

No change.

Arbury Camp has now been completely destroyed. Finds of RB and
IA pottery were made c1970 (6a).

(TL 446 616) In December 1995, RCHME's Cambridge Office carried out an earthwork survey of Arbury Camp, to contribute to earlier work on the formally similar site at Wandlebury (TL 45 SE 2) (7). The lowland fort was univallate with an entrance facing slightly south of due east. It was apparently nearly perfectly circular with a diameter of 260m.

Alexander and Trump's excavation suggested a Late Iron Age date (6a). Excavations by the Cambridge Archaeological Unit in 1990 revealed the entrance and confirmed the 1970 results. Large quantities of leather scraps were found in the waterlogged base of the ditch. Test pitting across the interior suggested that it was not permanently occupied in the IA, but that there was an overlying spread of Late Roman material, possibly from arable agriculture as well as a nearby settlement (7a, b).

The western side of the circuit is buried under the embankment of the B1049, but had been ploughed out prior to 1886 (7c). The eastern half survived until WWII, but has now been almost ploughed away: the bank is spread up to 40m wide and has a maximum height of 0.3m, while the ditch cannot be traced.

For further details, see RCHME Level 3 client report and plan at 1:1000 scale, held in NMR Archive. (7)

Further investigation in 1995 by CAU confirmed the course of the ditch by auguring and machine trenching. The site does not appear to be susceptible to geophysical techniques. (8)


Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : OS 25' 1927
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : VCH Cambridge. Vol.2, 1938, Map 1 and p.24
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Source Number : 7b
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Evans C 1992 'Cammanding Gestures in Lowlands: The Investigation of Two Iron Age Ringworks' Fenland Research 7, 16-26
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Source Number : 7c
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" First Edition 1888 XL.10
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Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Cambridge Archaeological Unit desk-top report
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Source Number : 11
Source : English Heritage Alternative Action Report
Source details : D. Went 06-Dec-1993
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Source : Arbury Camp
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Source : Arbury Camp/ink survey
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Source Number : 2a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Camb. A.S, Vol. 44, 1904, pp.277-84 (T McKenny-Hughes)
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Camb. A.S., Vol. 46 (1906) 211-19. (T. McKenny Hughes)
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ASP 13-APR-62
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 CFW 19-FEB-68
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Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F3 GJM 29-OCT-81
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Source Number : 6a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Board of Extra Mural Studies Cambridge 1970 (J Alexander & D Trump)
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Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : RCHME: Arbury Camp Survey
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Source Number : 7a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Evans C 1990 'Archaeological Investigations at Arbury Camp' Cambridge. Arch Unit desk-top report
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Neolithic
Display Date : Neolithic
Monument End Date : -2200
Monument Start Date : -4000
Monument Type : Occupation Site
Evidence : Uncertain Evidence
Monument Period Name : Late Iron Age
Display Date : Late Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -100
Monument Type : Fort, Enclosure
Evidence : Levelled Earthwork, Find, Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence : Find
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Field System
Evidence : Uncertain Evidence

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

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Cambridgeshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 5431
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Cambridgeshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 8479
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TL 46 SW 4
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ARBURY CAMP
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1902-01-01
End Date : 1904-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TL 46 SW 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1962-04-13
End Date : 1962-04-13
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TL 46 SW 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1968-02-19
End Date : 1968-02-19
Associated Activities : Primary, ARBURY CAMP
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1970-01-01
End Date : 1970-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TL 46 SW 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1981-10-29
End Date : 1981-10-29
Associated Activities : Primary, ARBURY CAMP
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ARBURY CAMP
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ARBURY CAMP
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: ARBURY CAMP SURVEY
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-12-01
End Date : 1995-12-01
Associated Activities : Primary, ARBURY CAMP, KINGS HEDGES ROAD
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2002-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ARBURY CAMP, KINGS HEDGES ROAD
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2002-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ARBURY CAMP: THE EASTER ENTRANCE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2004-01-01
End Date : 2004-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ARBURY CAMP (CAR PARK ZONE)
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2005-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31