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MONUMENT NO. 199711

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A promontory fort, considered to be of Iron Age date, which occupies the south western end of Barrow Hill. Three sides of the fort are elevated above a valley formed by the river which rises at Bradley Head, some 800 metres to the north west. The defences on the north, west, and south side, follow the natural steep contours of the hill and gradually taper to a narrow spur at the south west. These steep slopes may have originally been fortified by wooden pallisades but there are no surviving remains to confirm this. The ground levels out towards the east and the defence on this side of the fort is formed by a substantial cross-spur rampart, running broadly from north west to south east for 270 metres, effectively isolating the south western end of the hill. The rampart survives to a height of 6 metres and is flanked on its outer, eastern side by a berm and quarry ditch. The ditch is about an average of 0.4 metres deep and the ditch and berm together are about 30 metres wide. At the lower end of the rampart a gap of 4.5 metres almost certainly represents the original entrance. The combination of natural and artificial defences define a level interior of 8ha. Although the exact date for the construction and occupation of the fort has yet to be established, its similarity in terms of position and construction to other promontory forts, reliably dated to the Iron Age, would suggest a comparable date. However, the theory that the site was an unfinished burh related to the Anglo Saxon mint settlement at nearby Milborne Port, or that it was utilised during the medieval period, should not be discounted. Scheduled.

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