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VESPASIANS CAMP

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A univallate hillfort of probable Iron Age date, enclosing an area of circa 15 hectares situated on a narrow spur across a meander of the River Avon. The hillfort has an entrance to the north and other probable entrances in the south. Road widening in 1964 showed the rampart to have two phases of construction, with pottery recovered from both phases (the first phase was associated with sherds described as Iron Age "A/B", the second with Iron Age "C"). Excavation in the 1980s confirmed a broadly 5th-centry BC date and a relatively short-lived occupation. The rampart survives to a maximum height of 7.5 metres on the west side. Elsewhere it is present as a substantial scarp with no visible surviving bank. Part of the eastern rampart has been modified by 18th century landscaping, and a grotto, known as Gay's Cave (SU 14 SW 217), is incorporated below it. The interior was also landscaped during the 1740s when the hillfort was incorporated within the park of Amesbury Abbey House (SU 14 SW 261). The southernmost part of the hillfort is separated from the remainder by Stonehenge Road and has been partly built on.

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