Danesborough, Aspley Heath. Univallate hillfort
Mowsbury Hillfort > Beds Hillforts
The remains of Danesborough hill fort can be found in the woods to the west of Aspley Heath.
Not much can be seen on the ground today, as there are only vague ditches and mounds visible. Once it was a well-defended point in the hills overlooking the relative plain that the Romans built Watling Street across, and close by to their settlement at Magiovinium
A slight univallate hillfort situated at the northern end of a small steep-sided spur. The hillfort is oval in shape, measuring some 210m north-east to south-west by 130m transversely, and has an internal area of about 2.4ha. The defences run roughly around the 150m contour using the natural steepness of the hillslope which has been artificially scarped to further steepen the slope and create an outer ditch, the spoil from which was thrown outwards to form a parallel outer rampart. The latter averages 1.5m high on its lower side and is 1.7m from its top to the ditch bottom on the upper side. From the bottom of the ditch to the top of the main slope the scarp rises steeply to a height of 3.8m. The defences are strongest around the south-east side of the hillfort where the main scarp is at its highest and a low inner rampart, varying between 0.5m and 1m high, 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. The main pathway which enters here crosses the interior of the hillfort to exit in the south-west corner of the enclosure. Excavations in this south-western area have demonstrated that the original entrance lay at this position, the causeway crossing the ditch here forming a part of the original structure. Pottery from this excavation suggests that the hillfort is earlier than the second century AD and that it probably dates somewhere between the first century BC and the first century AD.
Despite some disturbance to the interior caused by afforestation, Danesborough Camp survives well and is a good example of its class. Partial excavation of an area of the site demonstrated that archaeological remains will survive relating to the occupation of the hillfort, the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.
A small contour Hillfort enclosing about 8 1/2 acres. A single rampart and ditch with an outer counterscarp surround a roughly rectangular area, except on the north where the fort appears to be unfinished. There is an entrance at the SW end. Excavation in 1924 showed the causeway across the ditch opposite the SW entrance to be original. Sherds from the ditch were dated from 1st c BC to 1st c AD by Reginald Smith and Cyril Fox. SP 921348. IA sherds from excavation in the 1920s by Sir James
Berry and J Wyness are in Aylesbury Museum. Danesborough. An IA ridge-end fort, measuring some 200.0m NE-SW by 130.0m transversely. The ditch is largely well preserved and up to 2.0m in depth, except where cut by several paths. The innerrampart is prominent only along the SE side, elsewhere it has been reduced or levelled, probably when the site was afforested with firs some 20 years ago. The outer bank can be clearly followed along the NW and SE sides of the work which lie atop very steep natural slopes. The original entrance is, as described, at the SW end, and giving onto the ridge. The earthwork has been much mutilated at the N corner by paths and afforestation. Published 25" survey revised.
Additional information: www.mkheritage.co.uk/wsc/docs/Danesborough%20Camp.html