Scheduled Monument: Bagley Iron Age defended settlement enclosure and deserted medieval farm
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
SO 484; 24026
28 June 1977
Date last amended
10 August 1994
The monument includes a prehistoric defended settlement enclosure and an associated deserted medieval farm, situated respectively above and in a small stream valley below Dunkery Hill. The prehistoric enclosure has been much degraded by later agriculture, and is not easily visible, but includes a bank and outer ditch surviving in two stretches, forming a roughly circular enclosure 62m across with an internal area of 0.31ha. The upper (southern) side of the enclosure consists of a bank 0.6m high internally and 0.8m high externally. There is no clear profile of a ditch but the fact that the ground is lower externally suggests the former presence of one. The lower (northern) arc of the enclosure survives as a broad, low bank 0.2m high and a broad outer ditch 0.2m deep. In the centre of the enclosure is a shallow round levelled hollow 14m across, representing the site of a building or inner enclosure. Part of the eastern side of the enclosure, through which a later field hedge-bank ran, no longer survives as an upstanding feature and may have been robbed to provide material for the hedge-bank. The western side, adjacent to the deserted farm, has also been disturbed by clearance and hedge lines. The medieval farm is located immediately below the enclosure on the west, on a small terrace beside a stream, beyond which is a shoulder of land providing shelter. The site consists of earth- and stone- work remains of buildings, enclosures, trackways and field banks. These are flanked on the west by the stream gorge, and on the other sides by the low scarps around the terrace which have been stone faced to form the edges of the fields around the farm. Roughly central to the site are the tumbled ruins of a small cottage, with a large mound in the north corner indicating a collapsed chimney stack. The cottage consists of a small square room 5m by 4m, with indications of a further room to the side. The main room appears to have an entrance facing north downhill beside the chimney, and perhaps one at the back to a small yard. A length of bank on the west suggests an outer wall of a second room or lean-to, of similar size. A low bank forming an apparent room on the east of the cottage is on a slightly different orientation and seems to have been overlain by the cottage and an associated wall, and may represent an earlier phase of the site. It was perhaps reused as a garden or yard beside the cottage. Behind the cottage on the uphill side is a small yard, the west side of which is a stone-faced bank running south as a continuation of the west wall of the main room. Branching off this is a wall curving round to meet the other end of the east room or garden. This latter wall is on a similar orientation to the east room and may have likewise been adapted from an earlier phase. In front of the house to the north and across a small open area or track, is an area of levelled ground by the stream with traces of a building platform, suggesting a barn or other outbuilding. A trackway runs into the site from the south west where it fords the stream above the farm, beside the cottage and yard on the south and east, and to the east of the barn. Here it branches, opening out into former fields on the north-east, and leading north down beside the stream to a ford across a larger east-west stream below the site. Above the track where it runs around the south of the yard is a wall defining a short, narrow space below the scarp at the upper side of the terrace. This may have been a linhay, set into the slope with access to the upper storey from the higher ground at the back. Outside this wall and perhaps overlain by it is a lower bank which appears to be the footings of an earlier building in the same location. This is on the same orientation as the possible earlier phase of cottage and yard. To the east of this, the walled scarps join to form a narrow triangular piece of land in the top corner of the terrace. This has a bank across its end and earthworks within suggesting a garden plot or possibly a further early building. There is access from the terrace to the top of the scarp between this and the linhay. Field walls and banks associated with the site have largely been broken down by modern agricultural improvement. The manor of 'Bagelie' is recorded among the lands of Roger de Corcelle in the Domesday survey of 1086, and the direct association with an Iron Age enclosure is an indication of continuous settlement on the site from prehistoric times. This continuity of settlement, with a slight shift downhill at some point between prehistoric and medieval times, is attested by other sites in the area. The farm at Bagley is last recorded on a map of 1840, and when next mapped in 1890 it is shown as a ruin.