From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

Uffington Castle

Hill Fort
51° 34' 29.20" N 1° 34' 11.78" W

  • History
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Uffington Castle is all that remains of an early Iron Age with an underlying Bronze Age hill fort in Oxfordshire.

It covers about 32,000 square metres and is surrounded by two earth banks separated by a ditch with an entrance in the eastern end. A second entrance in the western end was apparently blocked up a few centuries after it was built. The original defensive ditch was V-shaped with a small box rampart in front and a larger one behind it. Timber posts stood on the ramparts. Later the ditch was deepened and the extra material dumped on top of the ramparts to increase their size. A parapet wall of sarsen stones lined the top of the innermost rampart. It is very close to the Uffington White Horse.

Excavations have indicated that it was probably built in the 7th or 8th century BC and continued to be occupied throughout the Iron Age. Isolated postholes were found inside the fort but no evidence of buildings. Pottery, loom weights and animal bone finds suggest some form of occupation however.

The most activity appears to have been during the Roman period as the artifacts recovered from the upper fills of the ditch attest. The ramparts were remodeled to provide more entrances and a shrine seems to have been built in the early fourth century AD. Two oblong mounds, one containing 46 Romano-British burials and one containing 8 Saxon burials, lie nearby. The site is very close to and overlooks the Ridgeway which is an ancient track way described as Britain's oldest road.