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Monument Name Ambresbury Banks
SMR Number 24
Summary Iron age hill fort.
Media
None Available
Associated Media
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Description Iron age hill fort. Subrectangular enclosure of 11.7 acres (c5ha). The defences are of single bank of dump construction originally separated from the ditch by a berm. The bank still stands 1.3m-2.2m high. There is also a 0.4-1.0m high intermittent counterscarp bank on the outer lip of the wide, silted ditch. The main bank now has 6 major breaks in its circumference, although only one appears to be original. This is approached from the north west by a trapezoidal-shaped causeway. The ends of the bank at this point were revetted with coursed puddingstone blocks. The width of the passageway so formed was sufficient to suggest double gateds, but no central post holes were found. At the south the head of a small valley is enclosed, from which a stream flows south east through a gap in the bank. Augering across the present stream bed suggested the bank was originally complete at this point, so assuming the stream existed at that time an overflow through the bank would have been necessary. The present stream bed is a breach, not a deliberately left gap. No trace of internal occupation has been found. Pottery from the ditch suggests a construction date of the second half of the 1st millenium BC, and reuse in the Belgic period. In medieval and later times several tracks passed through the earthwork and it was used for quarrying sand and gravel, and possibly as an enclosure for cattle on their way to the London market. <1> <2> <6> For previous excavation accounts, see: <3> <4> <5> Wild Service trees (sorbus torminalis) are to be found in the immediate vicinity of Ambresbury itself. Such trees are taken as an indication of relict woodland. Thus it would seem to indicate Loughton Camp was constructed in a still wooden landscape, whilst the country around Ambresbury was probably cleared. <10> Other refs: <7> <8> <9> <11> <12> Area = 5
Monument Type(s) HILLFORT (Dated 700BC to 42AD)
HILLFORT (Dated 700BC to 42AD)
Monument Class(es) EARTHWORK
Period 700BC to 42AD Iron Age
Status Scheduled Monument
Administration Area EPPING UPLAND, EPPING FOREST, ESSEX
National Grid Reference Square: TL40SW
Ref: 437003
Finds POTTERY VESSEL (Dated 700BC To 401BC)

Events PART EXCAV by Pitt-Rivers, A,

PART EXCAV by Pitt-Rivers, A,

PART EXCAV by Warren, SH,

PART EXCAV by Warren, SH,

PART EXCAV by Cotton, MA, Alexander, J, Smith, I+,

PART EXCAV by Cotton, MA, Alexander, J, Smith, I+,

PART EXCAV by Alexander, J and Robertson Mackay,+,

PART EXCAV by Alexander, J and Robertson Mackay,+,

PART EXCAV by Alexander, J

PART EXCAV by Alexander, J

Field visit to 24 by Paterson, H, FMW on SEP-1979

Field visit to 24 by Paterson, H, FMW on SEP-1979

Field visit to 24 by Paterson, H, FMW on NOV-1980

Field visit to 24 by Paterson, H, FMW on NOV-1980

Field visit to 24 by Chant, K, FMW on JAN-1983

Field visit to 24 by Chant, K, FMW on JAN-1983

Proposed widening of the M25 an Archaeological Assessment

Proposed widening of the M25 an Archaeological Assessment

Sources Desc Text : Proposed widening of the M25 an Archaeological Assessment (Bennett, Alison) Dated : 1992

<1> Desc Text : SMR form unknown Dated : 1960 0nwards

<10> CORRESPONDENCE : Ash Green, Baldwins Hill, Loughton (Lloyd, EG) 22 January Dated : 1979

<11> Scheduling record : DOE Scheduled Ancient Monuments (HBMC) Part 3 Dated : 1983

<12> Scheduling record : Schedule entry copy MPP23-AA 40507-1 (English Heritage ?) Dated : 1995

<2> RECORD SHEET/FORM : OS cards (Ordnance Survey) TL40SW06, 1969 Dated : unknown

<3> Excavation report : Report of the excavation of the earthwork otherwise known as Ambresbury Banks (Pitt-Rivers, A) Vol 2, pp55-68 Dated : 1881

<4> Excavation report : Proc Prehist Soc E Anglia (Warren, SH) Vol 7, p267 Dated : unknown

<5> Excavation report : Excavations at Ambresbury Banks, 1956- in Essex Nature (Cotton, MA) Vol 30, pp43-44 Dated : 1957

<6> Excavation report : Ambresbury Banks, an iron age camp in Epping Forest, Essex: a report on excavations of 1933, 1956, 1958 and 1968 (Alexander, JA) ESAH Vol 10, pp189-205 Dated : 1978

<7> Desc Text : An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex - Volume 2 (RCHME) Vol 2, p63 Dated : 1921

<8> Map : Map of Southern Britain in the Iron Age (Ordnance Survey) p40 Dated : 1967

<9> Desc Text : Placenames of Essex (Reaney, PH) p22 Dated : 1935