Alfred's Castle

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View towards Alfred's Castle from the west

Alfred's Castle is a small Iron Age hill fort, situated at grid reference SU277822,[1] behind Ashdown Park in the civil parish of Ashbury in Oxfordshire (formerly Berkshire). It lies 2–3 km south of the Ridgeway and is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.[1]

It has a large enclosure attached that shows as a cropmark. Excavation has shown this to be contemporary with the small enclosure, started in the 6th century BC. The hill fort was established within a series of late Bronze Age linear ditches and revealed much evidence for occupation within it. In the late 1st century, a Romano-British farmhouse was built within the abandoned prehistoric enclosure.

King Alfred won a great victory against the Danes at the Battle of Ashdown, in AD 871. Being located just to the west of Ashdown House, Victorian antiquaries associated Alfred's Castle with the King's troop movements before the battle. The exact site of Alfred's battle has not yet been determined, however, so is a matter for debate. The most likely sites are near Compton and Aldworth in Berkshire.

Excavations were carried out at Alfred's Castle from 1998-2000 by archaeologists from Oxford University, and post-excavation analysis is still ongoing (as of August 2011). For interim reports on the site, see http://www.arch.ox.ac.uk/alfreds-castle.html

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Coordinates: 51°32′17″N 1°36′07″W / 51.53803°N 1.60201°W / 51.53803; -1.60201

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Alred's Castle". Pastscape.org.uk. Retrieved 2008-05-17.