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BARBURY CASTLE

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An Iron Age "developed" multivallate hillfort with substantial earthwork remains. The hillfort measures 400m wide east to west by 290m wide north to south. It is one of a number of hillforts located on or close to the line of the Iron Age and later Ridgeway (see NMR LINEAR60). The hillfort is located at the western end of the ridge of Barbury Hill at a height of 265m. The hillfort comprises two concentric rings of banks and ditches enclosing an oval area of circa 4.5ha and has entrances, which both measure circa 10m wide, at the eastern and western ends aligned with the ridge. A track, possibly an offshoot of the Ridgeway, extends between the entrances and was adopted as the parish boundary between Wroughton and Ogbourne St Andrew. The eastern entrance is defended by a right angled outwork which comprised a ditch and bank that extends out from the main hillfort and which may be the remains of an earlier Bronze Age enclosure as the hillfort banks appear to overlay it. The northern part of the outwork has become in-filled due to 20th century cultivation. Excavations have uncovered Iron Age rubbish pits. Iron Age /Roman, Anglo-Saxon finds have made and Anglo-Saxon inhumations have been found. The hillfort was used for defence / training by the United States Army during the Second World War and they caused significant damage to the western entrance when they widened it. The interior of the hillfort also suffered damage from bombing and the construction of slit trenches (see NMR SU 17 NW 152 and NMR SU 17 NW 153, respectively). Immediately northwest of the hillfort lies a flat topped Bronze Age bowl barrow (see NMR SU 17 NW 154) and just to the west is a Bronze Age disc barrow (see NMR SU 17 NW 7). A post medieval dewpond has been constructed on the south-eastern rampart (see NMR SU 17 NE 45).

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