Aerial view of Alfred's Castle
|Built Bronze / Iron Ages|
The fort has a large enclosure attached that shows as a cropmark. Excavation has shown this to be contemporary with the small enclosure, started in the 6th century BC. The hill fort was established within a series of late Bronze Age linear ditches and revealed much evidence for occupation within it. In the late 1st century, a Romano-British farmhouse was built within the abandoned prehistoric enclosure.
In the year 871, King Alfred the Great won a great victory against the Danes at the Battle of Ashdown; locally it is said that battlefield lies just to the west of Ashdown House. With this connection, Victorian antiquaries associated Alfred's Castle with the King's troop movements before the battle. The exact site of Alfred's battle has not yet been determined, however, so is a matter for debate. The most likely sites are near Compton and Aldworth.
Excavations were carried out at Alfred's Castle from 1998-2000 by archaeologists from Oxford University. A final analysis was published in 2014.
- National Monuments Record: No. 225540 – Alfred's Castle
- Cotton, M Aylwin (1960), "Alfred's Castle" (PDF), The Berkshire Archaeological Journal 58: 44–48, doi:10.5284/1000017, http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archiveDS/archiveDownload?t=arch-787-1/dissemination/pdf/BAJ058_PDFs/BAJ058_A04_cotton.pdf
- Gosden, Chris; Lock, Gary (2014). Histories in the making : Excavations at Alfred's Castle 1998- 2000. [S.l.]: Oxbow Books. ISBN 9781905905324.