Situated in a low-lying position close to the confluence of the Dikler and Windrush valleys, Salmonsbury is typical of what are known in Britain as ‘enclosed oppida’, quite different in form and development to polyfocal oppida like Bagendon. Double ditches and banks enclose an area of around 23ha with a further 6ha enclosed by an outer annexe protected by horn-work ramparts. Excavations in the 1930s demonstrated that some of this occupation dates to the Middle Iron Age (4th-1st century BC) with the ramparts probably dating to the Mid to Late Iron Age, perhaps enclosing an existing unenclosed settlement. These excavations revealed a number of crouched inhumation burials, dating to the Middle Iron Age, in disused pits. These have recently been added to by recent investigations. Geophysical survey has also revealed that the houses excavated in the 1930s were part of dense occupation, including numerous roundhouses and small enclosures, which covered most of the interior. In the Late Iron Age, Salmonsbury received imports similar to those at Bagendon and appears to have had a similar status in local society. Salmonsbury’s very different form, however, may suggest a somewhat different role and indicate the potentially quite varied nature of Late Iron Age society. The site appears to have had long-standing significance, including early Iron Age occupation in the vicinity and a Neolithic causewayed camp revealed by the geophysics. Combined, it suggests that the area was an important meeting place in many periods of the past. Salmonsbury and the landscape around it are now part of Greystones Nature Reserve. The area includes meadows and a working farm.
Dunning, G.C. (1976). Salmonsbury, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire. In Harding, D.W. (ed.) Hillforts: Later prehistoric earthworks in Britain and Ireland. Academic Press. London: 75-118
Children exploring nature at Greystones Farm (Salmonsbury)
(Copyright Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust)
Recent archaeological discoveries at Greystones Farm (Salmonsbury) (Copyright Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust)