Danebury Iron Age Hillfort

Danebury Hillfort :) or Danebury Ring, the most thoroughly

researched Iron Age hillfort in Western Europe

in terms or archaeology excavations

is a famed site in hillfort terms in Hampshire. 

Here are my arrow point's on the subject.

Danebury Hillfort_- geograph.org.uk_-_21

> Danebury Iron Age Hillfort is 12 miles north west of Winchester, sitting in the more inland reaches of Hampshire, 

> The fort was constructed in the 6th Century BC. 

> The hill fort was then used for 5 centuries.

> It began a similar size to other forts in the area, but expanded to become among the largest. 

> It is from a site that started as 5 hectares in area about 5 football pitches that is. Though this expanded. 

> The fort is 143 metres above sea level, so well over 40 metres above most of the local area. 

> It has larges scale excavation from 1969 to 1988, among the seminal hillfort excavations in history. Much of this directed by famed expert on Pre Historic Europe, Barry Cunliffe, a Emeritus Professor at Oxford University, but also strongly linked to Southampton University. 

> A first known dig at Danebury hillfort was  in 1859, led by Augustus Wollaston Franks. His team excavated a Iron Age pit  2 metres  deep and 1.5 metres in diameter.

> Hampshire County Council allowed this Cunliffe dig, I am sure they deforested it and then they dug up 57 percent of the site. Most hillforts are lucky to have had a fraction of that, if at all, so a seminal dig. The site has also had a magnetometer check on it, those things that can see if there are any disparities in the soil. Which to  archaeologists can be as indicative as seeing lumps indicating in houses foundations in the ground, or aerial archaeology indicating what patterns are on the land, and often crops marks, of patterns of former houses can be identified by them. 

> The fort started off as one ditch with 2 entrances. Within then 2 more ditches added over time. 

> The northern area of the fort had 4 post structures that experts say were granaries, later superseded by storage pits. The south by traditional British roundhouses.  

> It seems the fort ditch was made by digging a ditch, in the chalky soil, then packing that up, into a ramparts mixed with clay. With timber used to turn this into a box rampart. There was also a wooden gatehouse at the east entrance, where a 13 foot wide gap existed. It is unknown if the other entrance had a gatehouse, it has not been excavated. There is evidence of a repair work, and ramparts being built up again, as of age a few decades after their construction and of a fire, and a expanded eastern entrance. 

> In 400BC a part of the ditch was as much as 6 metres deep, and 11 metres wide, and V shaped. This meant the top of the rampart beside it was 16 metres above the bottom of the ditch, especially if there were a dry stone wall of flint atop it as is the belief. 

> For a time, the eastern gateway got a long entrance with earthworks aside it, better to keep an eye on incomers. Plus a better protection against anybody who got past the weak point that gates are in defences from attackers. 

> In later times the huts seemed to be on the outer part of the interior. 

> It seems extra ramparts in the later period added 5 hectares to the fort's area. 

> It likely housed 200 to 400 people but led a area of more. 

> It traded to earn iron, tin, copper, salt, shale and stone. Possibly woollen items and grain were sent out in return. 

> Expert analysis notices there was some burning of the entrance in around 100BC about the time it stopped being used. Indeed some evidence indicates that pits with 100 bodies in, all with injuries in the main, were associated to this time, and that burning. So possibly a brutal end to the fort. But it had a good innings. Some wonder if this was the famed Belgae invasions, but that kind of speculation is likely to precise. 

> When the Romans arrived it was supposedly likely just a farm area. 

> Other forts nearby include Figsbury Ring  and Quarley Hill. 

> Danebury was able to be seen for many miles so dominated the area like a castle on a hill

Bullet points 

* The fort likely was sustained by 1 hectares farmsteads, that kept grain here for protection, of it and them. 

* It was from 400BC that Danebury started to be a multi ringed developed hillfort. 

* Some estimate they have found 11,000 sling stones at Danebury for defence, though some question if all were. 

Bow points

) Coins were more in use in later Iron Age Britain.

) Most pottery found at Danebury was local, but some wonder if a few sherds of pottery were Italian amphorae. So it is not like Tintagel, where in the Dark Ages, pottery from the Med, indicates massive trade. 

) Archaeologists have found 180,000 pieces of pottery connected to the Iron Age. 

) 73 roundhouses have been located. 

) 240,000 bits of bone, as well. 

) A museum in Andover has a selection of finds. 

Spear shaft points

!It sits above the chalk plain, lots of hillforts here are upon chalk, 

! It wins the award of most thoroughly excavated and investigated hillfort in the Iron Age. 

! I have never been to Danebury Hillfort, so I got a picture off Wikimedia Commons pages. 

* It sits on Danebury Hill, which is also a nature reserve., 

* It can also be called Danebury Ring. or Danebury Ring Iron Age Hillfort, or Danebury Ring Hill fort, or Danebury Ring Hilllfort., It is near the town of Stockbridge. Plus the village of Nether Wallop. 

* It is 21 miles from the coast and Southampton. 

* So not far from the trade routes of the Solent ports, that traded to the continent.

* Most guesses say the term Danebury comes from the olde English term for hill, Dun, and Bury from a Olde English term for castles and such. Though some say Dun comes from a old Celtic term for a hill, and some even wonder if it is a term from the Celtic word Dun, as in fort, though that last is a minority view. Few people say it was named after Danes. There is though a site in Essex, called Danbury that was also a Iron Age fort. It sits between the Rivers Blackwater and Crouch. It is near Danbury and Chelmsford. There is also a Danish Camp standing in Essex named so as it was thought to have been a base for the Danes  in terms of Vikings. There is no archaeological evidence for that, and though I do not say it can not have ever have been used by the Vikings, it was also a Iron Age hillfort site. It is near Soeburyness. There is also a Danesborough Camp, in Bedfordshire, again a Iron Age hillfort. near Aspley Wood. The site is now overgrown by the wood, and was in use from the 1st Century BC to 1st Century AD. It is near Aspley Guise. Which itself is not far from Bletchley and Milton Keynes.

Also on the border between Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, there is 6 hectare, 190 metre altitude, multi rampart Iron Age fort called Cholesbury Camp Hillfort, that in the 19th Century was called Danish Camp for a period, partly as that is what some wrongly assumed it was. Though that was not a unusual error in terms of miss identifying builders of all sorts of structures, in the past. It just shows how good history research has become that such mild but good effort errors have been corrected. 

Also on the island off the South Wales coast, called Sully Island, a very small little islet, there is a camp, labelled Danish Fort, which makes sense seeing they had their Vikings, Though this base in the Bristol Channel is actually seen to have been mainly a Iron Age fort. 

So back to the Danebury Hillfort this page is about. 

DANEBURY iron  age hillfort local nature reserve is where it is at. 

There is also a racing stables nearby of the same name, and a horse racing track at Stockbridge. 

So there is a public domain painting I found on Wikimedia Commons of the Danebury area, from maybe the early 20th or some time in the 19th century.

So that is that for you. :)


Sometimes you have to press enter/ return key, on your keyboard on the address bar to go to a page after you pressed on it. 

* It is not spelt Danbury, Danebury-hillfort, danebury-hillfort, dane bury hillfort, dane bury hill fort, Daenbury, Daneburgh,  Daneburyring, Daneburyrings, daneburyhillfort, daneburysringshillfort dane bury rings hill fort, or dane bury rings hill fort, or dane-bury or Danebury Rings, or Danefort,I have not found any Danish collections, but the name and the fact other similar named sites in England do have Danish connections, could indicate Viking links, though very likely not, not that I know on this point, more likely it is a misapprehension of what and who used hillforts, like when they thought they were Roman, Saxon, or Viking, but maybe it is something else, sadly I did not find out. )