Iron Age Hillfort, Hod Hill

Record ID:  110539*0 / MNA137629
Record type:  Monument
Protected Status: Scheduled Monument
NT Property:  Hod Hill; South West
Civil Parish:  Stourpaine; North Dorset; Dorset
Grid Reference:  ST 856 106
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Summary

The Iron Age fort at the top of Hod Hill is one of the largest in Dorset, its multiple ramparts once protected a large village. The Romans captured the fort around 44AD and built their own defenses in the north-west corner.

Identification Images (0)

Monument Types

  • MULTIVALLATE HILLFORT (Early Iron Age to Roman - 800 BC to 44 AD)

Description

The Iron Age fort at the top of Hod Hill is one of the largest in Dorset, its multiple ramparts enclosing 22 hectares. The banks and ditches once protected a large village containing over 250 round houses, the foundations of many of these can still be seen. The fort originally had four entrances, the Romans adding a fifth in the north-west corner ( 110,539*1) ( RCHM, Dorset III, p.263-265). Archaeological Comments - Site:110539*0

In September 2001 a narrow water pipe trench was excavated through the SW entrance by National Trust archaeologist. This revealed stratigraphy on the exterior and through entrance but the interior ploughed down to chalk bedrock with only 4 post-holes noted cutting chalk with no diagnostic finds. Collapse of flint nodules down the exterior slope from the SW gateway indicated the collapse of flint revetment at the entrance. Only 4 small black body sherds of Iron Age pottery found.

In August 2005 while Dave Stewart, a student from Bournemouth University was carrying out geophysical survey across the hillfort interior he found a lump of slag in a mole hill at ST85834 10621. The initial impression from the Wessex Archaeology slag specialist was that it was iron production slag rather than iron smithing.
Subsequent geophysical survey by Dave Stewart in the Iwerne Valley east of hillfort shows extensive settlement evidence along the valley Bronze Age to Saxon.

References

  • SNA64693 - Collection: National Trust. 1987. Hod Hill photographs volume 2. Showing erosion in 1987..

  • SNA64701 - Collection: National Trust. Footpath erosion control at Hod Hill ? 1988.

  • SNA64702 - Photographs - set of: National Trust. 1987. Erosion recording and shrub clearance on Hod Hill, Dorset.

  • SNA65661 - Unpublished document: Peter John Robertson. 2013. Iron Age Hillfort Defences and the Tactics of Sling Warfare.

  • SZN10254 - Unpublished document: M Papworth. 1996. Hod Hill.

  • SZN362 - Monograph: RCHME. 1970. An Inventory of Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset, Central Dorset. III.

Designations

Other Statuses and References

  • Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • HER/SMR Reference (External): 2052 11A
  • Site of Special Scientific Interest (Biological)

Associated Events

  • ENA3109 - Archaeological Intervention, Water pipe SW gate Sept 2002
  • ENA3258 - Archaeological Intervention, British Museum Ian Richmond's Research Excavation 1949-58
  • ENA3354 - Archaeological Intervention, Water Pipe Installation watching brief Nov 1997
  • ENA6189 - Archaeological Intervention, Erosion recording and shrub clearance on Hod Hill, Dorset
  • ENA7281 - Field Survey, Hod Hill hillfort sling stone experiment
  • ENA5616 - Field Survey, A Geophysical Survey at Hod Hill, Stourpaine, Dorset, by D.A. Stewart
  • ENA5617 - Field Survey, A Geophysical Survey at Hod Hill, Stourpaine, Dorset, by D.A. Stewart

Associated Finds

None Recorded

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