Fort and Iron Age Hillfort
Barbury Castle was the site of an Iron-Age Hillfort. This egg-shaped fort lies on the edge of the Marlborough Downs and is protected by 2 strong banks and deep ditches. There is an inturned entrance on the west and a curved outer earthwork protecting the gate on the east. Traces of huts and storage pits have been noted on AP’s, and Iron Age jewelry and chariot fittings have been found within the enclosure. The ridgeway follows the edge of the downs and passes below the fort to the N.
A small hoard of metalwork including reaping hooks, knives, spear-heads and a ‘nave band’, were originally dated to around 200-50BC, but re-examination has suggested that a later dating perhaps to the early-1st century cannot be ruled out.
Excavations at Barbury Castle in 1969
… 3.5km (2¼ miles) south of Wroughton: a possible Roman Camp, with a single entrance defended by an external clavicula looking south to Barbury Castle hill-fort, has been identified from crop marks.” (Britannia, 1970)
This tentatively identified Roman camp was evidently built to control the population of the Iron-Age hillfort at Barbury Castle which lies just to the south of the Roman encampment.
References for Barbury Castle
- Britannia i 1970 p.299.
- Article Ironwork Hoards in Iron Age and Roman Britain by W.H. Manning in Britannia III (1972) pp.224-250
Map References for Barbury Castle
NGRef: SU147768 OSMap: LR173
Roman Roads near Barbury Castle