List entry

List entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Hillfort on Woodhouse Hill 500m west of Mickledale.

List entry Number: 1013297

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County District District Type Parish
Cheshire West and ChesterUnitary AuthorityFrodsham

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 13-Dec-1929

Date of most recent amendment: 20-Jul-1995

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 25694

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Slight univallate hillforts are defined as enclosures of various shapes, generally between 1ha and 10ha in size, situated on or close to hilltops and defined by a single line of earthworks, the scale of which is relatively small. They date to between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth - fifth centuries BC), the majority being used for 150 to 200 years prior to their abandonment or reconstruction. Slight univallate hillforts have generally been interpreted as stock enclosures, redistribution centres, places of refuge and permanent settlements. The earthworks generally include a rampart, narrow level berm, external ditch and counterscarp bank, while access to the interior is usually provided by two entrances comprising either simple gaps in the earthwork or an inturned rampart. Postholes revealed by excavation indicate the occasional presence of portal gateways while more elaborate features like overlapping ramparts and outworks are limited to only a few examples. Internal features included timber or stone round houses; large storage pits and hearths; scattered postholes, stakeholes and gullies; and square or rectangular buildings supported by four to six posts, often represented by postholes, and interpreted as raised granaries. Slight univallate hillforts are rare with around 150 examples recorded nationally. Although on a national scale the number is low, in Devon they comprise one of the major classes of hillfort. In other areas where the distribution is relatively dense, for example, Wessex, Sussex, the Cotswolds and the Chilterns, hillforts belonging to a number of different classes occur within the same region. Examples are also recorded in eastern England, the Welsh Marches, central and southern England. In view of the rarity of slight univallate hillforts and their importance in understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities, all examples which survive comparatively well and have potential for the recovery of further archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance.

The hillfort on Woodhouse Hill is one of a group of small hillforts in Cheshire. The site survives well in spite of a heavy overburden of woodland and bracken and significant erosion by footpaths and bridleways. The interior of this fort will retain much information about the nature of settlement and the domestic and agricultural economy of the area during the time of its construction and occupation.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes a hillfort roughly rhomboid in shape on the crest of the sandstone ridge at Woodhouse Hill. The fort is univallate (one rampart) and is one of a number of hillforts on the sandstone outcrop which bisects the county from the Mersey estuary to the Welsh border near Wrexham. The defences on the south and west sides take advantage of the natural scarp overlooking the coastal plain. There are traces of a bank to reinforce the natural defence consisting of a slight scarp continuing the recurve of the northern rampart and slightly set back from the cliff edge on the west side. The rampart on the north and east sides is well defined and stands 0.5m to 2m high but is frequently interrupted by gaps. There is no trace of an external ditch. Excavation in 1949 showed that the bank had originally stood 3m high and 4m wide at the base, revetted on each side with dry stone walling. On the north west side a slight inturning of the sides of a gap in that corner may be the original entrance. The area of the interior of the fort is 1.52ha in extent.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

  1. Other  Reference - Title: Cheshire SMR - Date: 1994 - Type: MENTION
  2. Article  Reference - Author: Forde Johnston, J - Title: Woodhouse Hillfort - Date: 1962 - Journal Title: Trans Lancs and Ches Arch Soc - Volume: 72 - Page References: 17-19 - Type: DESC TEXT

National Grid Reference: SJ 51059 75726

Map


© Crown Copyright and database right 2014. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2014. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.

This copy shows the entry on 02-Oct-2014 at 03:28:46.