Cadbury Castle: South Cadbury Castle: Cadbury Camelot: Cadenbyrig: Cadcong: Cadebi

South Cadbury.
©S. T. Carter.


South Cadbury, Wincanton, Somerset

  • Scheduled Monument


Iron Age hill fort and earthworks, covering 18 acres, defended by three to four ramparts and the main entrance on the south west side.

Early Neolithic occupation. Finds include stone axes, flints and pottery. Late Neolithic finds include flint arrow heads and Grooved Ware pottery sherds.

Late Bronze Age finds include pottery sherds, loom weights, bronze objects and a gold bracelet.

Early Iron Age finds include pottery sherds and two bronze razors.

Mint established on the site by King Ethelred.

Hoard of 100 brooches found on the site.

King Arthur’s Well is located to the eastern side of the site. Queen Anne’s Well is located to the north west of the site and believed ti be an original dedication.


3300 BC                      Possibly first occupied as an undefended Neolithic settlement.

2755 BC                      Radio Carbon dated to –  in parts.

2510 BC                      c: Radio Carbon dated to – in parts.

1000 BC                      Occupied.

800 BC                        c: Inhabited during Late Bronze Age.

6th – 7th C BC              Late to early: Iron Age occupation.

5th C BC                      The first defences were constructed including a clay and gravel 7ft wide box rampart with horizontal timber facing and an external ditch.

4th C BC                      Onwards: Middle and late Iron Age alterations to the rampart. A large rubble rampart with stone facing replaced the original defences as well as a rock cut ditch.

2nd  C BC                    South west entrance passageway was protected by double gates and opposing guard chambers. Had become a large settlement with rectangular and circular huts and storage pits. Textiles and fine metal working evidence has been found from this date.

2nd C BC                     End: Defences completed. The outer rampart did not have a ditch.

0                                  Defences and south west gateway reconstructed and a temple was built on the hill.

43                                Defences reconstructed.

60/70                           After: Defences destroyed by the Romans. Dating from: Bones of 30 men, women and children were found in the south west entrance way. Possibly a massacre led by Suetonius and the II and IX Legions.

70                                The Romans erected temporary accommodation on the site while they dismantled some of the defences.

1st C                             Defences repaired and the south west entrance altered to only one guard chamber.

1st-2nd C                      Occupied.

3rd-4th C                       Dating from: Coins found.

5th C                            New gateway added with a single tower. The defensive area could hold 1,000 people and covered 18 acres in area with a 3,600ft perimeter

5th C                            End: Inner bank strengthened and a new rampart of stone and rubble was added. It was held together with wooden framing and faced with dry stonework.

5th-6th C                       Construction on site included a timber hall measuring 63 ft by 34 ft and standing at the top of the hill.

978                              Was created a Burgh during the reign of Ethelred the Unready.

1009-1010                   Became the Burgh of Cadanbyrig with an administrative and commercial role.

1009-1019                   Mint, producing silver coins, was built during Ethelred the Unready’s reign. The hill was refortified with a bank 20 ft wide and faced with a 4 ft wide stone mortared wall. Dating from: foundation trenches but no building was erected.

1009-1020                   Dating from: Coins found.

1020                            Possibly destroyed by King Cnut.

1199-1216                   During: King John spent money on the site. A stone wall dates from this period and some pottery sherds.

1209                            Forty Marks was paid to Peter de Scudamore and Geoffrey de Martin towards the upkeep of the site.

1542                            Itinerary of John Leland: Stated the place as being the site of Camelot.

16th C                          Identified as Camelot.

18th C                          Stone canopy at King Arthur’s Well.

1890                            Excavated 

1913                            Excavated by Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society.

1959                            Excavated by Clevedon and District Archaeology Society

1960’s                         Archaeologists stated there was once a grand fortress on the site. Roman military equipment found.

1966-1973                   Excavated by Camelot Research Committee.

1967                            Field Investigation.

1968                            Excavated by Cadbury Excavation Committee.

1972                            Excavated 

1989                            Aerial photograph.

1990                            Aerial photograph.

1992-1993                   Geophysical Survey by University of Glasgow Department of Archaeology.

1993                            Surveyed and measured. Field Investigation.

1994                            Aerial photograph.

1995-1999                   Excavated by South East Somerset Archaeological Society.

1996                            Geophysical Survey by Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit.



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