Danesborough Camp

Danesborough Camp, an ancient iron age hill fort, is a slight univallate hill fort located approximately 420m north of The Knoll and situated within the Northern area of Aspley Woods near Woburn Sands.

Based on pottery excavated from the site, Danesborough Camp is believed to date from somewhere between the first century BC and first century AD and is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

Slight univallate hill forts are rare with approximately 150 examples recorded nationally. The importance of such sites is largely in providing a means of understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities and accordingly Danesborough Camp is regarded to be of national importance.

 

More About Danesborough Camp

Despite disturbances to the interior caused by afforestation, Danesborough Camp has largely survived well and is regarded as a good example of its class.

The hill fort is oval in shape and measures approximately 210m by 130m with an internal area of around 2.4ha.

Danesborough Camp’s defences run roughly around the 150m contour using the natural steepness of the hill slope which has then been artificially scarped to further steepen it and to create an outer ditch.  The spoil from this was thrown outwards to form a parallel outer rampart. The strongest defences are to be found around the south-east side of the hill fort where the main scarp is at its highest. A low inner rampart runs along its upper edge. The earthworks appear unfinished or damaged at the north end of the enclosure where a series of forest paths converge.

Excavations in the south-western area of the site have shown that the original entrance lay at this position, the causeway crossing the ditch here forming a part of the original structure.

You can find out more about this site and its listed entry at English Heritage and at MK Heritage.

 

Cycling and Danesborough Camp

As the whole hill fort site is protected it is out of bounds to cyclists who must take great care when riding in its vicinity. Particularly in Summer, it can be difficult for the untrained eye to make out the earthworks and ditches. Cyclists are directed to use only the designated and clearly signed cycle trails in this area of the woods.

Criminal Offences, Fines and other legal information (extract from English Heritage)

A monument which has been scheduled is protected against disturbance or unlicensed metal detecting. It is against the law to:

  • disturb a scheduled monument by carrying out works without consent
  • cause reckless or deliberate damage to a monument
  • use a metal detector or remove an object found at one without a licence from English Heritage

Conviction for these offences can lead to substantial fines.