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Danebury Ring; Danebury Hill Fort

An impressive ovoid fort with a complex history and continuous occupation over 500 years. Defences consisted of a massive double rampart and ditch, the inner bank now up to 5m high and 18m wide at its base. The fort was begun around the 6th or 5th century BC, comprising of a number of round houses with storage pits. This was replanned in the 4th century BC when 2 parallel cobbled streets were laid out, with 4 and 6 post rectangular structures placed along them for a length of 90m, which backed onto areas of storage pits. Both the structures and the streets appeared to hav been replaced several times.

 

Danebury Iron Age hill fort is 2500 years old. It is a nationally important Scheduled Ancient Monument and also a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Some of the finds can be seen in the Museum of the Iron Age in Andover.... its also a great place for kite flying!

 

Danebury is 4km north west of Stockbridge (sign posted from Nether Wallop near Stockbridge). The site is open all day, every day, free entry with ample free parking, and toilets are open from April to October. Telephone to check for occasional closures for essential works or unforeseen emergencies.

 

The defences were strengthened between 400 and 100BC. By the 2nd century BC, the new storage pits no longer conformed to the streets or building-lines, and large-scale habitation of the hillfort ceased c100BC, after the newly-built eastern gateway had been burned down.

 

At its height, the population was around 200-300 persons, but at the time of the Roman invasion this had dwindled to a single family and their farmstead. The interior of the fort was littered with thousands of storage pits, some of which contained dateable material. Finds include pottery, grain and animal bones, and evidence of weaving, iron-smelting, and salt and shale distribution, plus a small hoard of 21 sword-shaped currency bars. The earliest identifiable features on the site are a number of Bronze Age? ritual pits, some of which contained dismembered dogs. There are three neolithic long barrows nearby.

 

Danebury Ring
Danebury Ring

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