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SIDBURY CASTLE

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A large Iron Age univallet hillfort known as Sidbury Castle occupying a high elevated position on a steep-sided hill at the end of a Greensand spur just west of the River Sid. It has a defended area of about 4 hectares with a single elongated passageway entrance to the north west. The hillfort is aligned north west to south east and takes the form of a long narrow pear-shaped enclosure with the wider part at the south east. It is about 500 metres long with a maximum width of 100 metres. The defences include a single rampart, ditch, and counterscarp bank enclosing a flat interior which falls away only when in proximity to the rampart where a soil quarry seems likely to have existed. The earth rampart, which is 1.2 metres high and nearly vertical on the inside, follows the contours of the hill and utilises the steep break of slope on all sides;it varies in height between 4.4 metres and 9.6 metres on its outer slope. The rampart is fronted by a ditch which is on average 2.9 metres wide and 1 metre deep. The ditch is in turn fronted by a counterscarp bank of about 1 metre in height which merges with the natural hill-side on its outer slope. The narrow elongated entrance is formed by a twin extension of the ramparts at the north western end producing a bottleneck passageway some 100 metres long which has a sunken appearance. A scarped platform which overlooks the hill-slope to the west would appear to have provided additional cover for the western approaches to the passageway. A least one hoard of sling stones has been recovered from the monument in the 19th century. Some banking which forms an enclosure within the monument in its south eastern corner is almost certainly post-medieval in origin as are the depressions caused by two ponds located in the interior. Scheduled.

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