Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

EN3590: Dudsbury Camp  

Sources: Esri, DigitalGlobe, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, GeoEye, USDA FSA, USGS, Getmapping, Aerogrid, IGN, IGP, and the GIS User Community

HER:  Dorset MDO6225

NMR:  SZ 09 NE 44 (457812)

SM:  1003583

NGR:  SZ077979

X:  407702  Y:  97918  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

Prominent contour hillfort sited above the N bank of River Stour on S. Precipitous to river on S and SW, moderate slopes elsewhere. Semicircular and slightly domed with internal area 3.2ha. Defined by two ramparts and ditch on N, E and W, but much of outer rampart damaged or lost. Best just N of SW apex where inner rampart c. 4m above outer ditch bottom and outer rampart c. 5.8m above ditch bottom. Single rampart on SW c.4.9m above outer ledge or berm. Limited excavation by Heywood Sumner 1921 in W half of interior and across W entrance unproductive. Trench across inner ditch to NW side produced Iron Age sherds at ditch bottom. Four breaks, N and E probably modern, S and W possibly original that on W possibly in-turned. Interior under cultivation for many years except for NE quadrant where house and garden. On 1st Ed. OS map (1889).

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Confirmed

Location

X:  -210632  Y:  6582598  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -1.89214  Latitude:  50.780724  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  England

Current County or Unitary Authority:  Dorset

Historic County:   Dorset

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  Ferndown Town

Condition

fair condition in part.

Extant:  
Cropmark:  
Likely Destroyed:  

Land Use

Interior under cultivation for many years except for NE quadrant where house and garden.

Woodland:  
Commercial Forestry Plantation:  
Parkland:  
Pasture (Grazing):  
Arable:  
Scrub/Bracken:  
Bare Outcrop:  
Heather/Moorland:  
Heath:  
Built-up:  
Coastal Grassland:  
Other:  

Landscape

Hillfort Type

Prominent contour hillfort sited above the N bank of River Stour on S. Precipitous to river on S and SW, moderate slopes elsewhere.

Contour Fort:  
Partial Contour Fort:  
Promontory Fort:  
Hillslope Fort:  
Level Terrain Fort:  
Marsh Fort:  
Multiple Enclosure Fort:  

Topographic Position

Hilltop:  
Coastal Promontory:  
Inland Promontory:  
Valley Bottom:  
Knoll/Hillock/Outcrop:  
Ridge:  
Cliff/Plateau-edge/Scarp:  
Hillslope:  
Lowland:  
Spur:  

Dominant Topographic Feature:  Hill top

Aspect

North:  
Northeast:  
East:  
Southeast:  
South:  
Southwest:  
West:  
Northwest:  
Level:  

Elevation

Altitude:  30.0m

Boundary

Boundary Type:  Parish/Townland

Second HER:  

Second Current County or Unitary Authority:  

Second Historic County:  

Second Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  Bournemouth

Dating Evidence

Trench across inner ditch to NW side produced Iron Age sherds at ditch bottom.

Reliability:  B - Medium

Pre 1200BC:  
1200BC - 800BC:  
800BC - 400BC:  
400BC - AD50:  
AD50 - AD400:  
AD400 - AD 800:  
Post AD800:  
Unknown:  

Pre Hillfort Activity:  ✗  

Post Hillfort Activity:  ✗  

Artefactual:  No details.

Investigations

On 1st Ed. OS map (1889). Limited excavation by Heywood Sumner 1921, Evaluation AC Archaeology 1999. Watching Brief AC Archaeology 1999.

1st Identified Map Depiction (1889):  OS map.
Excavation (1921):  Heywood Sumner.
Other (1999):  Evaluation AC Archaeology.
Other (1999):  Watching Brief, AC Archaeology.

Interior Features

Iron Age sherds at ditch bottom.

Water Source

None:  
Spring:  
Stream:  
Pool:  
Flush:  
Well:  
Other:  

Surface

No Known Features:  
Round Stone Structures:  
Rectangular Stone Structures:  
Curvilinear Platforms:  
Other Roundhouse Evidence:  
Pits:  
Quarry Hollows:  
Other:  

Excavation

No Known Excavation:  
Pits:  
Postholes:  
Roundhouses:  
Rectangular Structures:  
Roads/Tracks:  
Quarry Hollows:  
Other:  
Nothing Found:  

Geophysics

No Known Geophysics:  
Pits:  
Roundhouses:  
Rectangular Structures:  
Roads/Tracks:  
Quarry Hollows:  
Other:  
Nothing Found:  

Finds

Iron Age sherds at ditch bottom.

No Known Finds:  
Pottery:  
Metal:  
Metalworking:  
Human Bones:  
Animal Bones:  
Lithics:  
Environmental:  
Other:  

Aerial

APs Not Checked:  
None:  
Roundhouses:  
Rectangular Structures:  
Pits:  
Postholes:  
Roads/Tracks:  
Other:  

Entrances

Four gaps, N and E probably modern, S and W possibly original, that on W possibly inturned.

Total Number of Breaks Through Ramparts:  4:  N and E probalby modern.

Number of Possible Original Entrances:   

Guard Chambers:  

Chevaux de Frise:  ✗  

Entrance 1 (South):  Simple Gap:  Possibly original.
Entrance 2 (West):  In-turned:  Possibly original.

Enclosing Works

Defined by two ramparts and ditch on N, E and W, but much of outer rampart damaged or lost. Best just N of SW apex where inner rampart c. 4m above outer ditch bottom and outer rampart c. 5.8m above ditch bottom. Single rampart on SW c.4.9m above outer ledge or berm.

Enclosed Area 1:  3.2ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  3.2ha.

Total Footprint Area:  

Multi-period Enclosure System:  ✗  

Ramparts Form a Continuous Circuit:  ✗  

Number of Ramparts:  2

Number of Ramparts NE Quadrant:  2
Number of Ramparts SE Quadrant:  
Number of Ramparts SW Quadrant:  
Number of Ramparts NW Quadrant:  2

Current Morphology

Partial Univallate:  
Univallate:  
Partial Bivallate:  
Bivallate:
Partial Multivallate:  
Multivallate:  
Unknown:  

Multi-period Morphology

Partial Univallate:  
Univallate:  
Partial Bivallate:  
Bivallate:  
Partial Multivallate:  
Multivallate:  

Surface Evidence

Outer ledge or berm on SE

None:  
Earthen Bank:  
Stone Wall:  
Rubble:  
Wall-walk:  
Evidence of Timber:  
Vitrification:  
Other Burning:  
Palisade:  
Counter Scarp Bank:  
Berm:  
Unfinished:  
Other:  

Excavated Evidence

None:  
Earthen Bank:  
Stone Wall:  
Murus Duplex:  
Timber-framed:  
Timber-laced:  
Vitrification:  
Other Burning:  
Palisade:  
Counter Scarp Bank:  
Berm:  
Unfinished:  
No Known Excavation:  
Other:  

Gang Working

Gang Working:  ✗ 

Ditches

Ditches:  

Number of Ditches:  2

Annex

Annex:  ✗  

References

Allcroft, H. 1908. Earthworks of England, 191.

Gale, J. 2003. Prehistoric Dorset, Stroud: Tempus Publishing.

RCHME 1975. An inventory of the historical monuments in Dorset, Vol 5, East Dorset, 76-7, London: RCHME.

Warne, C. 1872. Ancient Dorset. The Celtic, Roman, Saxon and Danish Antiquities of the County, Bournemouth: For the author, 53-5.

Terms of Use

The online version of the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland should be cited as:

Lock, G. and Ralston, I. 2017.  Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland. [ONLINE] Available at: https://hillforts.arch.ox.ac.uk.

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