Maiden Bower, Houghton Regis. Causewayed enclosure
Mowsbury Hillfort > Beds Hillforts
A sub-circular earthwork enclosure of probable Iron Age date, overlying Neolithic features which suggest the presence of a causewayed enclosure. The site was surveyed by RCHME in 1994 as part of the Industry and Enclosure in the Neolithic Project. See the archive report for full details. The earthwork rampart is the most prominent suviving feature of the site. The bank forms an almost complete circuit, except along the north west side where quarrying and erosion have encroached. The area enclosed measures circa 4.9 hectares. There are several breaks in the circuit, the most likely entrance being a 7.3 metre wide gap in the south-east, where a subtle out-turn of the rampart suggests some elaboration of the defences at this point. Recent geophysical survey recorded an internal ditch circuit, concentric to the main enclosure. The RCHME survey picked up traces of a bank close to it. The bank is most probably a plough headland. The ditch, as well as earlier Neolithic features, has been exposed in the quarry face on the western side, and recording and salvage work was undertaken from 1878 onwards by Worthington Smith. Smith excavated within the earthwork enclosure entrance in 1913, while further rescue work and recording has been undertaken at the quarry face by members of the Manshead Society intermittently since the late 1930s. Artefacts rabging from Palaeolithic to Roman date have been recovered from the surface within and around the enclosure, as well as during quarrying adjacent to it. The area enclosed by the earthwork is scheduled.