Caesar's Camp (Bracknell Forest)

Iron Age Hillfort

Caesar’s Camp is an Iron Age hill fort around 2400 years old. It is located just in Crowthorne civil parish to the south of Bracknell in the English county of Berkshire. It falls within the Windsor Forest and is well wooded, although parts of the fort have now been cleared of some trees. The area is managed by the Forestry Commission but owned by Crown Estate, and is open and accessible to the public. The hill fort covers an area of about 17.2 acres (7 hectares) and is surrounded by a mile-long ditch, making it one of the largest in southern England.

The origin of the name “Caesar’s Camp” is unknown. However, the hill fort is close to the Roman road known as the Devil’s Highway, and this may have led Medieval mapmakers to attribute the structure (wrongly) to the Romans.

History of Caesar’s Camp (Bracknell Forest)

Caesar’s Camp is thought to have been established around 500–300BC. It is the only hill fort of its type that has been identified in east Berkshire.[2] Because the area had a thick bed of sandstone beneath the top layers of soil, it was likely not suitable for farming – the community at Caesar’s Camp was therefore dependent on the produce of neighbouring settlements. Caesar’s Camp was therefore most likely used as an assembly point and a marketplace. Its huge outer walls and 1-mile-long (1.6 km) dump rampart also suggest that it was used as a safe haven in case of attack.

Multivallate defences at Caesar’s Camp (Bracknell Forest)

Caesar’s Camp appears to have fallen under the rule of Cunobelin, king of the Catuvellauni tribe in the first century AD from a coin discovered in the interior. Soon after, the Romans invaded England; after this time, there is no evidence that Caesar’s Camp continued to exist as an inhabited community. A road from its south entrance was later built, connecting it to the Devil’s Highway (Roman Britain). There is a small Roman settlement about halfway along this road, known as Wickham Bushes, which has yielded pottery and other Roman artefacts. The main Roman road connected London (Londinium) with Silchester (Calleva Attrebatum), the tribal capital of the Atrebates, about 10 miles to the west in Hampshire.

A redoubt roughly 40 m across in the fort is thought to be part of a defence line built in 1792 in preparation for the Napoleonic Wars.

Sites near Caesar's Camp (Bracknell Forest)