Fieldwork in 1994 and 1995
This work is now published as: Miles, D., Palmer, S.,
Lock, G., Gosden. C. and Cromarty, A.M. 2003. Uffington White Horse
Hill and its Landscape: investigations at White Horse Hill, Uffington,
1989-95 and Tower Hill, Ashbury, 1993-4, Oxfordshire. Oxford: Oxford
Archaeology. Thames Valley Landscapes Monograph 18 and is available from Oxbow Books.
The report covers the collaborative fieldwork between
the University of Oxford and Oxford Archaeology (previously the Oxford
The evidence suggests that Uffington Castle hillfort was constructed at
the end of an earlier linear ditch in the 7th century BC with a single
circuit of box rampart and opposing eastern and western entrances. In
the 4th century BC the rampart was remodelled into a dump-style and the
eastern entrance was blocked. There was very little evidence for
activity within the enclosure and our conclusion is that the hillfort
was used for periodic ceremonial gatherings associated with the White
The hillfort was re-used and remodelled in Romano- British times,
including for burial. By these times the White Horse could have been
nearly 1,000 years old and it could have been its mythological
attractions that drew people there, as is still the case today.
The report also covers the excavation of a Late Bronze Age settlement
at Tower Hill, just along the Ridgeway track from Uffington Castle.
This was discovered through the chance finding of a spectacular hoard
of bronze artefacts.
There is also a detailed account of the scientific dating of the White
Horse using OSL (Optically Stimulated Luminescence) dating, plus
excavations in various parts of the surrounding landscape including a
long barrow, round barrows, the linear ditch and the Manger.