Ravensburgh Castle

Hexton, Hertfordshire


NGRef: TL099295
OSMap: LR166
Sitetype: IAf

The Largest Fort in South-East England

This rectangular fort was protected on the more vulnerable west by a two banks and ditches, but on all other sides by a single rampart and ditch with a slight counterscarp enclosing an area of 22 acres (9ha). The two original entrances were positioned on the eastern side near the south-east corner, and at the north-west corner where the outer rampart was turned inwards forming an entrance passage; this appears to have been the main gate.

The Oppidum of Cassivellaunus?

The fort appears to have been built in two phases; the original rampart was built around 400BC and was faced with timber at front and rear and secured by cross-timbers. These defences were strengthened in the middle of the 1st century BC, very likely in response to Julius Caesar's activities in Britain. It is possible on this basis that Ravensburg Castle may have been the site of the oppidum where Caesar defeated the British warlord Cassivellaunus in 54BC.