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Historic England Research Records

Woodbury Hill Camp

Hob Uid: 456110
Location :
Bere Regis
Grid Ref : SY8563094800
Summary : Earthwork remains of an Iron Age univallate hillfort which is enclosed by a single set of ramparts. The hillfort has an irregular shaped interior and occupies a total area of 5ha.
More information : (Centred SY 856948) Camp (NR) (1)

Woodbury (SY 856948) is a contour hill-fort which occupies the entire
flat top of the gravel-capped spur called Woodbury Hill 360ft above
OD, 1/2 mile E of the parish church. The area enclosed is about 12

The defences, though now much broken down, consist of a main inner
rampart, at best 40ft wide and 19ft high above a single ditch, 5ft
deep and 30ft wide, and a relatively massive counterscarp bank up to
26ft across, beyond which the ground falls steeply on the E side and
greater part of the S side. On the NW there is a sloping shelf
between the ramparts and the steep face of the hill. On this shelf is
a series of rather flat-topped parallel ridges 1ft high, 10 yds or so
wide and about 50 yds long, divided by furrows about 4ft wide. These
are more likely to be connected with the annual sheep fairs once held
in the hill-fort (Hutchins I, 135) than with agriculture. To the N a
gently dipping but fairly narrow saddle connects the spur with the
main ridge. At this vulnerable point the outer bank seems to have
been thrust about 70 yds forward from the main rampart but the
remains have been heavily ploughed. In the lane to the NE is a double
fall which might mark the line of a ditch but this cannot be

The present road in from the SW probably follows the line of an
original entrance, and possibly does that at the NE; but all the
other breaks in the defences seem to be secondry. The surface of the
interior is uneven in many places but it is impossible to detect
anything certainly ancient. The chapel shown on the plan certainly
existed in the early 15th century and its footings were still
traceable in the late 18th century (Hutchins, ibid). The nearby well
was traditionally associated with it.

One coin of Domitian and one of Septimius Severus were found behind
the north rampart of the hill-fort at Woodbury. (Plan enlarged to
1:2500). (2)

The bivallate hillfort on Woodbury Hill (see plan 1) generally
accords with the description of Authority (2), though it is in poor
condition. The interior has been ploughed and the inner face of the
main rampart much reduced or destroyed. Much of the area is littered
with oyster shells, clay-pipe stems and brick, resulting from the
19th century demolition of some twenty-four buildings, including
cottages, shown on the Tithe Map (a) and ranged along the track
bisecting the hillfort. The southern end of the track utilizes what
was probably the original entrance, deepened and widened by
subsequent quarrying. The weakness of the rampart in the north-east
would seem to preclude the possibility of an original entrance as
suggested by (2).

While the outer scarp of the main rampart remains to a height of 2.0
to 5.0 metres (see annotated plan), the counterscarp bank has been
almost entirely levelled into the former ditch resulting in a terrace
remaining only on the west and south sides. The Tithe Map shows that
from the crest of the counterscarp the hillslope was divided into
numerous garden plots, though little ground evidence remains. Most of
the field banks shown on the O.S. 25" 1955 are now also destroyed.

Surveyed at 1:2500 on M.S.D. (3)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source :
Source details : OS 6" 1963
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Source Number : 2
Source :
Source details : RCHM Dorset 2 pt 3 1970 484-86 No 118 Plan and 594
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Source Number : 3
Source :
Source details : F1 NJA 18-MAY-81
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Source Number : 3a
Source :
Source details : Bere Regis Tithe Map and Award 1844
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Source Number : 4
Source :
Source details : English Heritage Schedule Entry 05/03/1997
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Univallate 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
Object Material :

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DO 406
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 28386
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SY 89 SE 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities :
Start Date : 1981-05-18
End Date : 1981-05-18
Associated Activities :
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31