Oram's Arbour: The Iron Age Enclosure at Winchester
Hampshire Cultural Trust
That Winchester was an important Roman, late Saxon and medieval town is well known. Less well known is that the Roman town was preceded in the same strategic location by a large Iron Age settlement. Christopher Hawkes initially postulated the possibility of such a pre-Roman origin for Winchester in 1930. It is, however, a long series of excavations and observations from the mid-1950s almost to the present day that have allowed this report to be prepared and the current thesis to be developed.
The settlementknownas the Oram’s Arbour enclosure,covering an area of about 20 ha, was first established on the western slopes of the Itchen valley sometime during the middle Iron Age. Although the evidence is difficult to interpret, it appears that the enclosure was in serious decline (if not already disused) by the late Iron Age.