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DANISH CAMP

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The buried and visible remains of the known extent of a defended prehistoric settlement known as the Danish Camp. The settlement lay in a rural setting until 1849 when Shoebury Ness was adopted as a range finding station by the Board of Ordnance and later developed into a complex of barracks and weapon ranges. The visible remains of the Iron Age settlement were probably reduced at this time leaving only two sections of the perimeter bank, or rampart, standing. This bank is thought to have originally continued north and east, following a line to East Gate and Rampart Street, and enclosed a sub-rectangular area of coastal land measuring some 450 metres in length. The surviving section of the north west bank, parallel to the shore line, now lies 150-200 metres inland. It measures 80 metres in length with an average height of 2 metres and a width of 11 metres. The second upstanding section, part of the southern arm of the enclosure, lies some 150 metres to the south alongside Beach Road. This bank is similar in width although slightly lower overall. The bank is flanked by a now infilled ditch. The area enclosed by these two banks was investigated in 1988 and revealed a dense pattern of well preserved Iron Age features, including evidence for four roundhouses, two post-built structures, several boundary ditches and numerous post holes and pits. Fragments from a range of local and imported pottery vessels date the main phase of occupation to the Middle Iron Age. Evidence for Roman occupation of the site was revealed with the uncovering of a substantial Romanised structure in the south west corner of the settlement. Fragments of Roman pottery and Roman coins were discovered in the 1930's. during building work on the 19th century Officers' Mess.

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