Banjo enclosure

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In archaeology, a banjo enclosure is the name of a type of archaeological feature of the British Middle Iron Age. It is so named because in plan it consists of a small round area with a long entrance track leading inward from one direction. This layout gives it the appearance of a frying pan or banjo. The enclosure is defined by a low bank and ditch. The earthworks at the end of the track are sometimes turned outward, creating a funnel effect. The enclosure used to be thought of as a small farming settlement occupied around 400 to 100 BC; however, because of the lack of finds relating to settlement it is currently thought to be a seasonal ritual center where feasting occurred.


  • Winton H., Possible Iron Age 'Banjo' Enclosures on the Lambourn Downs, Oxoniensia LXVIII (2003).
  • McOmish, Dave (May 2011). Banjo Enclosures (PDF). Introductions to Heritage Assets. English Heritage.
  • Hingley, R (June 1987). "MONUMENTS PROTECTION PROGRAMME MONUMENT CLASS DESCRIPTION BANJO ENCLOSURE". English Heritage. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  • Fasham, P, 1987, A banjo enclosure in Micheldever Wood, Hampshire (Hampshire Field Club Monograph 5). Winchester. Hampshire Field Club