Hillfort, Chłądowo
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
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The remains of an early medieval hillfort dating back to a period when Poland was inhabited by numerous peoples (the “tribal period”). The hillfort is an example of a fortified settlement built before Poland became a state. Very few such sites have survived in the vicinity of Gniezno, since at some point around the 1st half of the 10th century, old tribal settlements were mostly replaced with new hillforts, built in connection with the formation of the territorial basis for the early Piast monarchy.

Location and description

The hillfort is located at the junction of three villages: Chłądowo, Kamionka, and Wiekowo. It is situated approx. 600 metres to the south of Kamionka and approx. 1200 metres to the north-east of the road leading from Witkowo to Powidz. It is surrounded by meadows which used to be nearly impenetrable marshlands. The stream Struga Witkowska (Bawół Stream) flows to the south and west of the hillfort.

The ring fort is nearly circular in shape, with an outer diameter of approx. 52 metres. The surviving ramparts are about 3 metres high on the outside and about 1-2 metres high on the inside. Today, the inner hollow, measuring 25 x 20 metres, is located higher than the surrounding terrain. At present, the hillfort is not used. It is overgrown with thick grasses and — on the north and west sides, as well as on the greater part of the rampart — with tall trees.

History

At the present stage of archaeological studies, it can be said that the hillfort in Chłądowo was a relatively short-lived structure. It was built in the late 8th century and most likely was also used in the 9th century. The expansion of the Piast dynasty and the advent of Polish statehood marked the end of its existence.

Condition and results of archaeological research

In 1966, an archaeological survey was performed at the site under the direction of Izabela Sikorska. A small excavation, measuring 2 x 4 metres, was mapped out so that it included part of the rampart and part of the inner area of the fort. The survey revealed remains of buildings in the form of a half-earth lodge embedded in undisturbed soil, with an inner hearth; one of the lodge sides was 2.15 metres long. An outside hearth and traces of four posts coming from unidentified structures were also found. However, it was not possible to determine the inner structure of the rampart. The remains of the half-earth lodge revealed numerous stones which, as the leader of the excavations believed, were fragments of a stone pavement used as a path running along the rampart. However, the stones were not placed tightly together and formed two uneven layers of scattered stones; they did not reach the initial course of the rampart. Thus, they may also have been rubble from the rampart, whose structure may have incorporated field stones.

The site is accessible.

compiled by Elżbieta Wyrwińska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Poznan, 06-08-2014.

Bibliography

  • Hensel W, Studia i materiały do osadnictwa Wielkopolski wczesnohistorycznej, t. 1, 1950, s. 109-110.
  • Sikorska I., Wyniki badań na grodzisku w Chłądowie, pow. Gniezno, „Sprawozdania archeologiczne”, t. 20, 1969, s. 215-220.

General information

  • Type: hillfort
  • Chronology: kon. VIII-IX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Chłądowo
  • Location: Voivodeship wielkopolskie, district gnieźnieński, commune Witkowo - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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