Danbury Iron Age Fort

Danebury Iron Age Hill Fort
Danebury is a large Iron Age hillfort dating in its earliest phase from the 6th century BC. Initially defended with a single bank and ditch and two entrances, in the early 4th century a second line of ramparts was added. The entrances were also added to, the eastern one of which was particularly heavily defended with a claw-like hornworks projecting beyond the line of the ramparts creating a curved entrance passage, above which was a strategically placed command post with a clear view over the entire entrance area. At Danebury, as at many sites of this period, clay sling shot or suitable natural pebbles have been found in considerable quantities emphasising the importance of this form of warfare.

Within the interior, excavation has revealed storage pits, rectangular four-post granary structures and round houses. Roadways ran through the site and these were maintained throughout the period of occupation. Occupation in hillforts of this kind was probably dense and estimations of the grain capacity of the storage pits suggests that over 1000 people could be fed for a year and still have sufficient grain left over for seed corn. The evidence also suggests that occupation was continuous, intensive and under the control of a strong centralised power. By the 1st century BC, occupation appears to have ceased, and it is likely that the hillfort was used only as a refuge in times of danger.

Danebury is open to the public and is sign posted from Nather Wallop near Stockbridge. Parking is free and there are toilet facilities.

[Hampshire Attractions]