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CHOLESBURY CAMP

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The earthwork remains of a multivallate Iron Age hillfort, known as Cholesbury Camp, situated to the east of Cholesbury Common. The hillfort is roughly oval in plan and measures 310 metres north east to south west by 230 metres north west to south east. The interior of the hillfort is quite level. The earthern ramparts lie mostly within a wooded belt which encircles all but the southern quarter of the hillfort, where the banks and ditches have been obscured by houses and gardens. A large ditch flanked by internal and external banks runs throughout the wooded belt, forming the sole defensive boundary to the north east and north west, but accompanied by further banks and ditches to the west and south east. The inner bank averages 8 metres in width, and varies between 0.8-2 metres in height. The outer slope of this bank is continuous with the inner face of the accompanying ditch, which ranges from 6-12 metres in width and 2.5-3 metres deep. The external bank is less pronounced but can still be identified around most of the northern defences. The outer defences on the south western part of the circuit can be seen extending over a distance of circa 180 metres. The counterscarp bank surrounding the main ditch forms the middle bank in this sequence of ramparts, and at nearly 6 metres across and 1 metre high, is better preserved here than elsewhere. A shallow ditch separates the middle bank from a similar bank forming the outermost component of the defences. A second section of external ditch and outer bank remain well preserved in the woodland to the north of the church driveway, abutting the inner works near the driveway but then extending in a straight line to the north east for some 90 metres, whereas the inner defences curve around to the north east. Excavations have revealed hearths which showed evidence of iron smelting. It is believed that the hillfort was constructed in the Middle Iron Age. Scheduled.

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