2. Summary of Phases

Period 1. Mesolithic | Period 2. Neolithic and Bronze Age | Period 3. Iron Age | Period 4. Roman (2nd-3rd century AD) | Period 5. Medieval and later

2.3 Period 3. Iron Age

Enclosure ditches, numerous pits, postholes (including of rectangular and semi-circular buildings), and gullies were either directly, or by implication, dated to this period. This period is divided into sub-periods as follows (see Fig. 19).

2.3.1 Period 3.1

Inner ditch only (i.e. outer ditch not yet constructed) and associated bank; corner enclosure, later enlarged, and still later disused; and a single portal gateway. Inner ditch and corner enclosure

  1. In Period 3.1 a simple V-profile ditch with an internal bank was constructed around two sides of the site, and part of a third, forming an enclosure. The entrance was closed by a single-portal timber gate. A small area in the south-east corner was enclosed with banks and ditches, and this was later enlarged and went out of use during the same period.
  2. The main enclosure ditch was cleaned and/or recut several times after being allowed to silt up almost completely.

2.3.2 Period 3.2 Inner ditch

In Period 3.2 a palisade of earth-fast stockade type (apparently never completed) was set into the upper silts of the infilled Period 3.1 ditch.

2.3.3 Period 3.3

Widely spaced palisade with twin-portal gate, the outer ditch probably being dug at this juncture to provide a reinforcement bank for the palisade. The site was abandoned, most likely at some time in the second half of the 1st century BC. Inner ditch

  1. In Period 3.3 there is evidence for a palisade of widely spaced, shallow-set uprights (presumably linked by horizontal timbers) set into the upper fill of the inner ditch. It is suggested that this was constructed to replace the deeper Period 3.2 palisade. As the post-settings for this fence line were so shallow, it is postulated that this later palisade was probably supported by an earthen bank. A twin-portal gateway seems to have been associated with this second palisade (see Fig. 19).
  2. There was evidence to suggest that a palisade may have covered the awkward junction of the ditch and bank with the natural slope in the south-west corner. This palisade may have continued along the brow of the natural slope, delimiting the enclosure to the west and north. Outer ditch

  1. In Period 3.3 a ditch, shallower and narrower than the inner ditch, was dug outside and parallel to the existing ditch.
  2. The upcast may have been used to brace the vertical timbers of the second palisade.
  3. There is evidence for cleaning and recutting, implying a degree of maintenance and a more than temporary existence.
  4. A bank of upcast by the inner lip is inferred from animal/root disturbances in this area, comparable to those found near the inner lip of the inner ditch. This upcast was probably a product of cleaning and recutting activities.
  5. Post-pits and stone concentrations suggested the existence of a structure or structures before and behind the line of the outer ditch. The nature and function of any such structure(s) remains unresolved.


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Last updated: Wed July 21 2010