Breedon Hill, Leicestershire: new surveys and their implicationsOpen Data

Christopher Whittaker

School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Newcastle University.

Cite this as: Whittaker, C. 2019 Breedon Hill, Leicestershire: new surveys and their implications, Internet Archaeology 52.


This article presents the results of a non-intrusive investigation conducted at the scheduled multi-period site at Breedon Hill, Leicestershire. The hilltop is the site of a univallate hillfort believed to date to the Early-Middle Iron Age. From the 7th century AD, a minster church was founded within the hillfort enclosure, which became the site of an Augustinian Priory in the 12th century. Today approximately two-thirds of the hilltop has been irretrievably lost due to quarrying.

Breedon Hill from the air looking southward. (Taken from ©Anthony Parkes (2015) and licensed for reuse under CC BY-SA 2.0)

The investigation, undertaken in spring 2016, combines gradiometer and earth resistance geophysical surveys, alongside digital terrain modelling (processed LIDAR data), to contribute to the understanding of the character and development of the hillfort interior. While previous excavations have sought to understand the development of the hillfort ramparts, little is known about the different phases of occupation at the hilltop, especially within the hillfort interior.

The results of the geophysical surveys reveal several phases of roundhouses and post-built structures in the south-eastern part of the hillfort interior. The interpreted results are contextualised in relation to similar regional sites. An interpretation of a possible phase of occupation is made based on the results.

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