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NORTON CAMP

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  NORTON FITZWARREN HILLFORT
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Hillfort of Late Bronze Age/Iron Age date. Excavations in 1908 and 1968-71 have shown evidence for both earlier and later activity. A small collection of flints indicates some activity in the Mesolithic and in the Early Neolithic. Flints had been reported prior to the 1908 excavations, including a flaked axehead. Potsherds of Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age date have also been found. The earliest phase of enclosure appears to belong to the Early or Middle Bronze Age, comprising a bank and inner ditch. Subsequently the earthworks were supplemented by features including a possible palisade. A hoard of MBA metalwork including 8 bracelets, two palstaves and a socketed axe was found during the 1970 excavations though sadly its precise context was not recorded. A pit at the NE entrance contained clay mould debris derived from the casting of a Late Bronze Age sword. The hillfort, which encloses circa 13 acres, saw at least 3 phases of earthwork construction beginning in the early 1st millennium (Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age). Iron Age features excavated include gullies possibly associated with round houses, plus pits and post holes. Roman activity on the hilltop appears to have belonged mainly to the 3rd and 4th centuries AD and is mainly represented by pottery, although a possible kiln flue was noted. No later activity was recorded from the (admittedly small-scale) excavations. A number of cropmarks have been recorded in the hillfort interior since 1989 in particular. However, it has not so far proved possible to link them with any of the excavated features. They include sub-rectangular enclosures, circular features possibly representing ring ditches or round houses, and linear features. Most if not all were probably associated with the periods of occupation attested by excavation.

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