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HAMBLEDON HILL HILLFORT

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The well-preserved earthworks of a Late Bronze Age/Iron Age multi-phase bivallate hillfort, with earthwork evidence for dense occupation in the interior. The hillfort occupies the northern of three spurs of Hambledon Hill. This record comprises the parent record for the Late Bronze Age and subsequent activity at Hambledon Hill. See ST 81 SW 17 for details of the Neolithic monument complex and associated records. Survey of the earthworks by RCHME in 1996 provided the context for re-recording of the Hambledon Hill complex. Some significant changes in interpretation have occurred since the hillfort was first surveyed by RCHME in 1959, both because of re-survey and particularly the excavations at Hambledon between 1974 and 1986 by Roger Mercer, although these focused mainly on the Neolithic features. The "hillfort spur enclosure", located at the northern end of the spur, had been regarded as the first phase of the hillfort but is now considered more likely to be Neolithic (ST 81 SW 59). The earliest hillfort probably occupied the northern and central thirds of the spur, with a possible entrance at the northern end. The hillfort was subsequently extended to incorporate the southernmost third of the spur. This extension featured two gateways, one on the east and one on the west. Subsequently the south-eastern corner/gateway was further elaborated and extended. The hillfort interior contains traces of 365 certain and possible house platforms. Many of the apparently blank areas have in fact been levelled by later ridge and furrow. Other interior features include trackways, a particularly large platform, perhaps for non-domestic use, and a possible pond. Parts of the hillfort may have been modified during the Civil War, particularly in relation to the events of 4th August 1645, when some local "clubmen" unsuccessfully defended the hillfort against Cromwell's forces.

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