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Somerset Historic Environment Record


Site Name: Maesbury Castle Hillfort, Croscombe
SCHEDULED MONUMENT: Maesbury Castle small multivallate hillfort [No:29033]
Civil Parish: Croscombe
PRN 12024Flint finds, Maesbury Castle
Grid Ref: ST 610 471 (ST 64 NW)
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Image: Image of HER 23349 - Photo by Somerset County Council (23 April 1987)
  HER 23349 - Photo by Somerset County Council (23 April 1987)

Public access:

The public accessibility of this site is unknown but it should be visible from a public right of way. Please assume that the site is private property. [Information last updated on 17 December 2002]


Bivallate hillfort enclosing c7 acres. The inner bank is mostly 5ft high but increases to 10ft at the E end. There are entrances on the SE and NW and latter appears to be original. It formerly had an outturned bank on its S side. Gray believed the SE gap to be original, and here the bank shows traces of a stone core. Also on the SE is a much ploughed down bank about 1ft high by 10ft wide with a shallow outer ditch - it appears to be an outwork. {1}

Both the opposed entrances have been damaged. On the W side scarping of the main rampart has not been completed, thus leaving a berm at the original ground level between rampart and ditch. The outer rampart is also incomplete. It is simply an interspace on the SW side, a weak single bank on the S and E sides and a double bank on the N. {4}

The ramparts are somewhat overgrown with hawthorne and small trees. The interior has been ploughed in the recent past. The defences consist on the S of a main inner bank fronted by a ditch beyond which is a berm about 10m wide with a second bank, ditch and counterscarp beyond. On the N the inner bank is much wider and there is a counterscarp bank on the outer edge of the ditch. This is succeeded by a second scheme of bank, ditch and counterscarp for most of the N half of the defences. The gap on the SE is apparently a recent breach. It is present c40m wide but slight traces of the bank on the S side are traceable for a further 20m, narrowing the gap to 20m and it is probable that the bank material has here been used to fill up the ditch. Very slight traces of a bank and ditch branches of NNE from the outer ditch opposite the N side of this gap. This earthwork is the remains of a triangular "advance work" or "outpost" mentioned by earlier sources, but is at present very degraded. {5}

Heavy rutting evident in the S side. The interior is down to grass with grazing. Obvious that in the extreme weather of 1982 the inner bank was used to get from one side of the enclosure to the other. {6}

Scheduling revised with new national number on 31.1.1997 (was Somerset 55). {10}

In generally good condition. {11}

Management agreement between English Heritage and the owner for one-off works. {12}

Six-year management agreement (1/1/2007 - 31/12/2012). {14}


1 Description - Tratman, EK. Maesbury Castle, Somerset. Proceedings of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society  8(3) (1958), 172-78
2 Description - Gray, H St G. Maesbury Camp. Somerset Archaeology and Natural History  53 (1907), 73-81
3 Mention - Victoria County History of Somerset 1911 vol 2, 491-2
4 Detailed records - Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division 1966 ST64NW16 (SCC Planning Department)
5 Description - Burrow, I. Hillfort and Hilltop Settlement in the First to Eighth Centuries AD British Archaeological Reports 91 (1981)
6 Detailed records - Entry found in HER database with no supporting documentation - entry just said 'in SMR file' where nothing was found. This is believed to have been a note that was typed up and then discarded. Location: Unknown or non-existant.
7 Aerial photographs - SCC Planning Department OAP AJ 935-9
8 Mention - Burrow E.J 1924 "Earthworks and Camps of Somerset", 80-81
9 Mention - Allcroft, A.H 1908 "Earthwork of England", 60, 188 and 210
10 Correspondence - English Heritage to Somerset County Council (7.2.1997) in HER files
11 Detailed records - Graham, A (Alan). English Heritage Field Monument Warden (5/1/1998) Location: HER file.
12 Correspondence - English Heritage to Somerset County Council (23/7/2004)
13 Detailed records - McGarvie, M. The Antiquities of Mells, Elm and Buckland in 1730. Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society  27 (1983), 89-91 (83-5)
14 Correspondence - English Heritage to Somerset County Council Historic Environment Record. (24/2/2009) Location: HER files

Record created in April 1985

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