Clatworthy Camp

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Clatworthy Camp
Clatworthy Camp is located in Somerset
Clatworthy Camp
Location of Clatworthy Camp in Somerset
Location Wiveliscombe, Somerset, England
Coordinates 51°04′28″N 3°22′02″W / 51.07444°N 3.36722°W / 51.07444; -3.36722Coordinates: 51°04′28″N 3°22′02″W / 51.07444°N 3.36722°W / 51.07444; -3.36722
Area 5.8 hectares (14 acres)
Built Iron Age
Reference no. 188442[1]

Clatworthy Camp is an Iron Age hill fort 3 miles (4.8 km) North West of Wiveliscombe, Somerset, England. It has been designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.[1] Due to the vulnerability to scrub and tree growth it has been added to the Heritage at Risk register.[2]

It is situated on a promontory of the Brendon Hills above Clatworthy Reservoir. It is roughly triangular in shape with an area of 5.8 hectares (14 acres). It has a single bank and ditch, cut through solid rock. There may have been an entrance on the west and two on the east.[3]


Further information: Hill fort

Hill forts developed in the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age, roughly the start of the first millennium BC.[4] The reason for their emergence in Britain, and their purpose, has been a subject of debate. It has been argued that they could have been military sites constructed in response to invasion from continental Europe, sites built by invaders, or a military reaction to social tensions caused by an increasing population and consequent pressure on agriculture. The dominant view since the 1960s has been that the increasing use of iron led to social changes in Britain. Deposits of iron ore were located in different places to the tin and copper ore necessary to make bronze, and as a result trading patterns shifted and the old elites lost their economic and social status. Power passed into the hands of a new group of people.[5] Archaeologist Barry Cunliffe believes that population increase still played a role and has stated "[the forts] provided defensive possibilities for the community at those times when the stress [of an increasing population] burst out into open warfare. But I wouldn't see them as having been built because there was a state of war. They would be functional as defensive strongholds when there were tensions and undoubtedly some of them were attacked and destroyed, but this was not the only, or even the most significant, factor in their construction".[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Clatworthy Camp". National Monuments Record. English Heritage. Retrieved 22 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Clatworthy hillfort, Clatworthy - West Somerset". Heritage at Risk. English Heritage. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Clatworthy Camp". Somerset Historic Environment Record. Somerset County Council. Retrieved 22 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Payne, Andrew; Corney, Mark; Cunliffe, Barry (2007), The Wessex Hillforts Project: Extensive Survey of Hillfort Interiors in Central Southern England, English Heritage, p. 1, ISBN 978-1-873592-85-4 
  5. ^ Sharples, Niall M (1991), English Heritage Book of Maiden Castle, London: B. T. Batsford, pp. 71–72, ISBN 0-7134-6083-0 
  6. ^ Time Team: Swords, skulls and strongholds, Channel 4, 2008-05-19, retrieved 16 September 2009 

Further reading[edit]

  • Adkins L and R, 1992. A Field Guide to Somerset Archaeology.
  • Burrows E J, 1924. Ancient Earthworks and Camps of Somerset.
  • Burrows I, 1981. Hillforts and Hilltop Settlements of Somerset.