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Bury Camp
Location Wiltshire
Coordinates 51°27′53″N 2°15′48″W / 51.4647°N 2.2634°W / 51.4647; -2.2634

Bury Camp is the site of an Iron Age multivallate hillfort in Wiltshire, England. It occupies a triangular promontory of Colerne Down at the southern edge of the Cotswold Hills between two spurs of a river valley. The enclosed area of approximately 9.2ha is surrounded by a ditch 4m wide and up to 1m deep, and an outer rampart up to 1.5m high on the east and northwestern sides and up to 2m high on the southwestern side, across the neck of the promontory.[1]

The contours of the land provide excellent natural defences to the north and east sides. On the south western side, where there are no natural defences, there is a further ditch 4m wide and 1m deep and an outer rampart up to 2m high and 3m wide. These are crossed by many causeways, which could be interpreted as an indication that the construction of the monument was never fully completed. The entrance in the middle of the south western side is thought to be of modern origin. At the north eastern corner the inner bank turns inwards to form a funnel shaped entrance leading to a hollow way running down the steep scarp into the valley below. Another entrance about a quarter of the way along the north western side also consists of inward turning ramparts forming a funnel shaped entrance.[1]

A small enclosure within the camp is visible on aerial photographs. It is circular, 72m in diameter, with a bank and an outer ditch. The site is a scheduled national monument no.28993.[1]

Excavations carried out under Denis Grant King, from 1959 onwards, turned over some good examples of Iron Age drystone walling, and found remains of a much earlier structure that existed at the north east entrance, indicated by drystone revetments within the northern rampart. In a second stage the entrance was remodelled and widened. At the north west entrance, four staggered post holes were uncovered as well as a cylindrical cavity 0.66m deep, interpreted as a gate post hole.[2]

The general history of the fort, beginning with its initial building, can be dated to about 350 BC, however various Neolithic and Mesolithic flint tools were found, indicating a much earlier use. Flint artefacts including scrapers, cores and flakes were found within the camp. Rotary and saddle querns were also found, along with a possible axe polishing stone. In 1960, 175 shards of pottery were recovered. All except one was plain coarse ware without a trace of decoration.[2]

Of organic remains, only two fragments of human bones were found, whereas between 400 and 500 animal bone fragments were found. This included typical domestic animals such as sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, horses and dogs. Six specimens were of very large birds, probably swans or geese. Deer, fox, rabbit and vole bones were also found. The relative rarity of anything but domestic animals may suggest that the camp was based on stock keeping and that it was unlikely that hunting played a large part of the food economy of the camp.[2]

LocationEdit

The site is located at grid reference ST818740, to the south of the village of North Wraxall, in the county of Wiltshire. The site has a height of 145m AOD. The Fosse Way Roman road passes close by to the west.

ReferencesEdit

See alsoEdit


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