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Sutton Walls Hillfort

SMR Number
: 912
Grid Reference
: SO 52520 46358
Parish
: SUTTON, HEREFORDSHIRE

Single rampart encloses 10.4 ha of low spur above R Lugg. Original entrances E & W; other gaps in N & S defences near W end may be modern. (2)
Ramparts completely encircle crest of long narrow mound of glacial gravel. Defences of single rampart with ditch with W & E entrances. W half of hill mutilated by extensive quarrying to 20' below crest, so hill shell only in this area. Ramparts levelled and ditch filled in at extreme E ramparts still rise slightly above interior. (5)
Excavations 1948-51 revealed: Phase A: occupation precedes rampart (IA'B') although may have been pallisade. Phase B: Construction of ramparts - material from ditch at foot of slope & scoops from rear of rampart. In these scoops huts built. Phase C: Ramparts raised in height, revetment at W entrance part rebuilt. Huts rebuilt at new level (cAD25). Phase D: ditch at W entrance recut. Ramparts slighted, or revetments allowed to fall into rapid decay. Occupation continued... Excavation in interior at W end showed occupation restricted to rear of ramparts. IA pottery etc in abundance. 24 skeletons recovered, some headless, it is suggested that they died during Roman invasion. (3)
Description of current state, infill of quarry, etc. (10)
Western two parts show little crop growth, still evidence of pitting. E section under arable. (11)
The name Sutton Walls indicates in all probability a Roman entrenchment which formed the basis of the Mercian town. Giraldus Cambrensis in his life of St Ethelbert mentions some ruins of a castle which he saw there. Leland "notable ruines of some auncyent and great building, sumtyme the mansion of King Offa, at such time as Kenchester sttod or els Hereford was a beginning and in the next century though the ruins had disappeared the contour of the ground marked, even more clearly than it now does, the extent and position of the palace (Gough's Camden). (12)
Cropmarks at the east end of the hillfort show the walls extend to a rounded eastern edge and that there are tracks leading up to it. (13)
Excavations carried out in August 1973 revealed a human skeleton in section during machining. One sherd of iron age pottery was also recovered. (14)
Detailed examination of the Roman anvil found during excavations in 1948-51. (15) (16)
Report on the site, 1935-1941. (17)
(18)
Detail of historical evidence and sources. (19)
2002 AP taken looking at the hillfort from the south (20)
Chris Musson's 2002 colour slide aerial photograph catalogue (21)
Lower Lugg ALSF AP Site 42. (22)
Chris Musson 2006, colour negative aerial photograph catalogue (23) (24)
Scheduled Monument Consent granted for creation of a network of monitoring wells (boreholes) to a depth of12m below ground level, 19 January 2012. (25)

Monument Type(s)

  1. HILLFORT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  2. OCCUPATION SITE (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  3. BURIAL (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)

Associated Files

    Sources and Further Reading

    1. <1>SHE132 - Bibliographic reference: Royal Commission on Historical Monuments. 1932. Inventory of Monuments, Herefordshire East, Vol II. Herefordshire East, Volume II. II,181.
    2. <2>SHE2162 - Bibliographic reference: 1975. Guide to Prehistoric & Roman Sites. Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club. -25.
    3. <3>SHE9650 - Bibliographic reference: Kenyon, K. 1954. Excavations at Sutton Walls, Herefordshire 1948-1951. The Archaeological Journal. 110,1.
    4. <4>SHE16398 - Bibliographic reference: Anon. Woolhope, various articles,. Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club. Pages 141.
    5. <5>SHE7834 - Bibliographic reference: Ordnance Survey Record Card. 1969. SO54NW1. Ordnance Survey.
    6. <6>SHE2235 - Bibliographic reference: Walters, H B. 1908. Romano-British Herefordshire (pp 167-199). The Victoria History of the County of Hereford edited by William Page, Vol I. I,220.
    7. <7>SHE706 - Bibliographic reference: 1951. The Journal of Roman Studies. 41,135.
    8. <8>SHE9647 - Bibliographic reference: Kenyon, K M. 1950. Excavations at Sutton Walls Camp, Herefordshire, 1948-1950. Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club. XXXIII 1950. Pages 148.
    9. <9>SHE9647 - Bibliographic reference: Kenyon, K M. 1950. Excavations at Sutton Walls Camp, Herefordshire, 1948-1950. Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club. XXXIII 1950.
    10. <10>SHE11686 - Bibliographic reference: Richardson, R. 10/1979. FMW Report. Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (English Heritage).
    11. <11>SHE1072 - Aerial Photograph: 05/1987. 2000-15-87 A49 Hereford N-S Relief Rd. DoT.
    12. <12>SHE11721 - Bibliographic reference: Robinson, Rev C J. 1867. The Castles of Herefordshire and Their Lords.
    13. <13>SHE14473 - Aerial Photograph: Baker, Arnold. 1964. black and white photograph, 5346/1. Baker photographs held in the NMR.
    14. <14>SHE15712 - Serial: Attfield, C E (ed). 1974. Herefordshire Archaeological News No. 27. Woolhope Club Archaeological Research Section. 27. Pages 16.
    15. <15>SHE16362 - Bibliographic reference: Tylecote, R.F.. 1961. The Roman Anvil from Sutton Walls, Herefordshire. Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club. XXXVII 1961. 56-61. XXXVII 1961. Pages 56.
    16. <16>SHE6862 - Bibliographic reference: Cohen, I. 1956. Report of Sectional Editor: Archaeology, 1956. Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club. XXXV Part II. XXV 1956 Part II. Pages 182.
    17. <17>SHE15814 - Bibliographic reference: Marshall, George. 1943. A Report: Sutton Walls, Herefordshire, 1935-1941. Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club. XXXI 1943 Part II. Pages 141.
    18. <18>SHE16567 - Bibliographic reference: Jack, G.H.. 1917. Relics from Sutton Walls. Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club. 1917. 219-220. 1917. Pages 219-220.
    19. <19>SHE16568 - Bibliographic reference: Bannister, Rev Canon A.T.. 1917. Sutton Walls and the legend of St Ethelbert. Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club. 1917. 221-226. 1917. Pages 221-226.
    20. <20>SHE16753 - Aerial Photograph: Musson, C R. 29/07/2002. 02-MB-0050. The Herefordshire Aerial Survey Phase I. Oblique. B/W.
    21. <21>SHE17347 - Aerial Photograph: Musson, C R. 29/07/2002. 02-C-0086. The Herefordshire Aerial Survey Phase I. Oblique. Colour.
    22. <22>SHE17863 - Data: Cox, Chris. 2006. The Lower Lugg Valley Archaeology and Aggregates Project AP Database. AP Refs: SO5246/14.
    23. <23>SHE18170 - Aerial Photograph: Musson, C R. 2006. 06-CN-0723. The Herefordshire Aerial Survey Phase I. Oblique. 645Colour.
    24. <24>SHE18171 - Aerial Photograph: Musson, C R. 2006. 06-CN-0724. The Herefordshire Aerial Survey Phase I. Oblique. 645Colour.
    25. <25>SHE18727 - Document: English Heritage. 2012. Letter granting Scheduled Monument Consent for proposed works at Sutton Walls (Camp), Sutton.

    Associated events

    Protected status

    1. Scheduled Monument 68: Sutton Walls (camp)

    Associated Historic Landscape Character Records

    1. HHE304 - Adaptation of Earlier Enclosure System - Former Common Arable Fields - L1 Linking Type
    2. HHE313 - Large Compass Enclosure of the Landscape - Redefinition of Former Common Arable Fields/Meadow
    Last Updated: 23/07/2010 12:35:57