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Title:Iron Age Cliff Castle Known As Bolt Tail Camp
Originator:Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Summary:Cliff castle survives as a large rampart, cutting off the headland and enclosing an area of 300m by 350m. The rampart is 260m long but was originally longer, the sea having washed away its terminals. It slopes from 61m above sea level at its S end, down to 22m at its N end. A bank of earth and stones forms the rampart, which is about 11m wide. It rises between 0.7m and 2m from the interior and falls between 3m and 5m to the outer ditch. An intermittent random drystone wall about 1.5m high revets the front of the rampart, but is probably of 19C date, although fragments of an earlier revetment of coursed rubble are visible high on its outer face. The outer ditch is about 8m wide by between 0.4m and 0.7m deep. About halfway along, the rampart curves to the E around and over a natural outcrop of rock. Where this is cut by the ditch, it is 2m wide and 0.7m deep with a post-medieval field wall running along its E side. Immediately to the S, the only original entrance in the rampart has inturned flanking horns. These are short and composed of earth and stones. They are between 6m and 8m wide, rapidly tailing off in height from the outer rampart which rises up to 2m from the interior at this point. Outside the rampart towards the N end of the valley to its E is a second very large ditch, between 15m and 34m from the outer edge of the main rampart. It is 30m wide by about 5m deep at its N end, and 23m wide by about 2m deep at its S end. It is likely that this was a natural valley made more abrupt by building up its sides. Its S half survives as a buried feature.The S end of the rampart is heavily disturbed by surface erosion and cliff falls, but an earthwork bank about 8m wide by 2m high continues along the cliff edge 60m to the SE before heading ENE for a further 150m. An outer ditch on its N side is represented by a narrow terrace up to 4m wide. From the N end of the rampart, a second boundary work projects to the E. This has a bank 4m wide, rising 0.4m on its S side and falling from 1m to 2.5m to a ditch 4m wide and up to 1m deep. An upcast bank is 0.6m high and 1.5m wide. The rampart runs along the cliff edge before climbing the coastal slope to the E. At a point 150m E of the fort rampart, it levels out and terminates. At this point it is strengthened by an outer ditch which now survives as a terrace 4m wide and about 70m long. A second rampart begins here, immediately S of the first, continuing for 150m along the hillside to the SE. Here it survives as a terrace 2m wide, falling 2.5m to a ditch 1.5m wide and up to 0.3m deep. An upcast bank is 1m wide and falls a further 1.5m to the natural hillside. The rampart survives for a further 120m forming the rear boundary of gardens on the S side of Inner Hope village, but owing to its poor survival, this section is not included in the scheduling. Other features may be hidden under the bracken and scrub woodland which covers parts of the site.

Associated Monuments (3)

MDV4840Barrows at Bolt Tail, South Huish (Monument)
MDV4842Bolt Tail Camp, Marlborough (Monument)
MDV56652Southern Rampart of Bolt Tail Camp (Monument)