(ARCH017) Danebury and South Cadbury: Two Iron Age Hillforts in Southern Britain

Danebury hillfort at sunsetDanebury Hillfort
Chris Talbot  CC BY-SA 2.0 


Course start date: Tuesday 22nd April 2025
Course end date: Friday 27th June 2025
Early Bird Price: £135

Tutor: Dr Tina Tuohy
Course Code: ARCH017
Level: Non-accredited, non-credit bearing
Assessments/Exams: None. Throughout the course you will be given ideas and questions to respond to in the online discussion area. Participation in online discussion is encouraged, but not compulsory.
Duration: 10 weeks
Estimated Student Study Time: 2 – 5 hours per week are recommended, but time spent is flexible and at your discretion.
Price: £150.00
Pre-Requisite Course(s): None
Delivery: Online Distance Learning
Late Entrants: If this course is not full by the start date then late entrants will be accepted for up to two weeks after the start of the course. As a late entrant you can choose to catch up on the material you have missed or you can skip the missed weeks and concentrate on the material at the point where you join the course, but unfortunately we cannot offer fee reductions or course extensions for late entrants.
Recommended Reading**:

The following are recommended, but optional, background reading; those marked with an obelisk () are highly recommended:

  • The Iron Age in Britain and Ireland: Recent Trends
    T. Champion and J.R. Collis,
    J.R. Collis Publications, Sheffield, 1996.
  • Danebury: An Iron Age Hillfort in Hampshire: Volume 6: A Hillfort Community in Perspective 
    Barry Cunliffe,
    CBA Research Report 102, 2003.
  • The Danebury Environs Programme: The Prehistory of a Wessex Landscape, Volume 1: Introduction (English Heritage and Oxford University Committee for Archaeology Monograph No. 48)
    Barry Cunliffe,
    Oxford University School of Archaeology, 2000.
  • Iron Age Britain (English Heritage)
    Barry Cunliffe,
    B.T. Batsford, 2004.
  • Cadbury Castle, Someset: The Later Prehistoric and Early Historic Archaeology (English Heritage)
    John C. Barrett, P.W.M. Freeman and Ann Woodward,
    English Heritage, 2000.
  • By South Cadbury is that Camelot? (New Aspects of Antiquity): Excavations at Cadbury Castle 1966-1970 
    Leslie Alcock,
    Edited by Sir Mortimer Wheeler
    Book Club Associates, 1975.

Required Reading**: None

**Please note: All courses are subject to sufficient numbers of students registering before they are confirmed as running. Therefore, after booking your place you are advised not to purchase any texts until you have received confirmation that the course is running.

This course was previously taught by Dr Tina Tuohy when it was offered by the University of Exeter*. If you studied it with the University of Exeter* you might not wish to study it again with Learn for Pleasure as although we have revised and updated our courses where necessary, it will likely be substantively the same.


This course looks at the hill forts of Danebury and South Cadbury and their environs in some detail, through study of excavation reports, data from environmental work, and landscape studies. We will also considers smaller sites within the local environs and explore their relationship with the hillforts.

These sites will be studied within a context of current interpretations of Iron Age hillforts and we will discuss how these support our current understanding of them.

Syllabus Plan

Week 1: What are hillforts?

Week 2: Discovering Data

Week 3: Danebury: Background and Environs

Week 4: Danebury: Defences

Week 5: Danebury: Interiors

Week 6: Danebury: Landscape and associated Sites

Week 7: South Cadbury: Background and Environs

Week 8: South Cadbury: Defences

Week 9: South Cadbury: Interiors

Week 10: South Cadbury: Landscape and associated sites.