3.2.3 Period 3. Iron Age

Commentary on the Site Description (2008)

Overview | Enclosure ditch (inner) | Inner ditch recutting | Bank | Inner annexe | Palisade I | Gateway | Palisade II | Outer ditch | Internal structures | Pits | Iron Age structural discussion Inner annexe (Period 3.1; Fig. 11)

Two parallel ditches (0267 and 0520) in the south-east corner of the enclosure ran parallel to the eastern arm of the main enclosure for a distance. The western ditch (0520) had a homogeneous fill, but 0267 contained two layers of silting, the angle of which suggested the former existence of a bank to the east. There was no direct evidence for a temporal relationship between these ditches, but it seemed likely that one succeeded another, and that they both performed the same function of defining and enclosing a small area in the south-east corner of the main enclosure. The slightly enlarged gap between 0520 and the inside edge of the inner main enclosure ditch, compared to that for 0267, can be interpreted as evidence for the later date of ditch 0520, on the basis that the presumed bank of the main enclosure had later spread wider.

Although the northern limit of this corner enclosure was suggested by the length of 0267 and 0520, no east-west arm of such an internal annexe was recorded during the excavations. However, on the aerial photograph (Fig. 2) a short linear cropmark feature can be seen running approximately east-west, and 0065 could be its western terminal. The corner enclosure would, therefore, originally have measured c. 6.0 x 13.5m after making an allowance for a bank. Enlargement, by the digging of ditch 0520 in place of the silted 0267, increased the space to c. 8.5 x 13.5m. Feature 0065 showed some evidence of recutting.

The gap at the angle of ditches 0065 and 0520/0267 thus appears to be an entrance to the enclosure. Several postholes lay in and around this entrance, and the spatial relationship of postholes 0050 and 0056 to ditches 0520 and 0267 suggested that each formed part of the successive gate structures. A similarly positioned posthole flanking 0065 would lie beyond the excavated area.

The interior of this small corner enclosure was not excavated and its function must remain uncertain. A fence or hedge would have made it suitable for a stock enclosure. It evidently passed out of use while the main enclosure inner ditch was still used, since the fills of both 0520 and 0267 were cut by postholes such as 0526 following the inner edge of the main bank. This indicates that the annexe became redundant sometime in the continuing life of the main enclosure, possibly with the changes to the inner bank in Period 3.3.


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Last updated: Wed July 21 2010