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Earthworks at Dolebury Camp
Dolebury Warren
Dolebury Warren is located in Somerset
Shown within Somerset

Coordinates: 51°19′39″N 2°47′01″W / 51.32747°N 2.78358°W / 51.32747; -2.78358

Site of Special Scientific Interest
Area of Search Avon
Grid Reference ST455590
Interest Biological
Area 90.6 hectares (0.906 km2; 0.350 sq mi)
Notification 1952 (1952)
Natural England Website

Dolebury Warren (grid reference ST455590) is a 90.6 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) near the village of Churchill in North Somerset, notified in 1952, and managed by the Woodland Trust.

There is evidence of occupation of the site during the Iron Age.[1] The defences and Celtic field systems at Dolebury date back to the 300s-200s BCE, though they might mask earlier developments.[2]. The rectangular fort commands views over the surrounding countryside. It was protected by a limestone rampart with a ditch and counterscarp on all sides but the South. There is an inturned entrance on the West and an annexe of 0.4ha protecting the easier Eastern approach. Finds include Iron-age and Romano-British materials.[3]

In addition to the remains of double ramparts of an Iron Age hill fort still being visible there is also evidence of a medieval rabbit warren.[4]

Dolebury Warren is a very good example of a medieval/post medieval rabbit warren which was used to breed rabbits, providing valuable meat and fur. The warren is completely enclosed by the substantial ramparts of the Iron Age hillfort, Dolebury Camp. Many warrens were surrounded by banks or walls to prevent the rabbits from escaping; escaped rabbits caused damage to nearby farmland and meant a loss in profit. [5]. Reusing the hillforts defences as a boundary provided an ideal location in which to breed rabbits.

Scarce plants found at the warren include Knotted Pearlwort[6] and Slender Bedstraw.[7]



  1. ^ "Mendip Hills An Archaeological Survey of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty". Somerset County Council Archeological Projects. Retrieved 2006-10-28.  
  2. ^ "Tower Head and Dolebury Warren". Isle of Avalon. Retrieved 2006-10-28.  
  3. ^ "Dolebury". Roman Britain. Retrieved 2006-10-28.  
  4. ^ "Dolebury Warren". Avon Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 2006-10-28.  
  5. ^ Williamson, T., 2006. The Archaeology of Rabbit Warrens. Princes Risborough: Shire Archaeology
  6. ^ Myles (2000) page 81
  7. ^ Myles (2000), page 191


  • Myles, Sarah (2000) The Flora of the Bristol Region ISBN 1-874357-18-8


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