Iwerne Rainbow From Hillfort 2

Iwerne Courtney and Stepleton Parish Council

Iwerne Courtney, also known as Shroton, is a village in the English county of Dorset. It is sited by the small River Iwerne between Hambledon Hill to the south-west and the hills of Cranborne Chase to the east. The name Iwerne Courtney – of which in 1980 author and Dorset resident Roland Gant wrote “I have heard only visitors to Dorset call it Iwerne Courtney”- derives from when the Courtenays (a Devon family ) owned land here, on the Iwerne stream.

The History of Iwerne Courtney

We know that from the mass of information and finds amassed during Professor Roger Mercer’s archealogical excavations in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Neolithic people arrived in Britain from Northern and western France and the Low Countries sometime after c.4200 BC and gradually developed a highly successful Society to the point where c. 3700 BC the first enclosure of some 19 hectares was built on the central summit of Hambledon Hill. The enclosure system was expanded and elaborated over the following four centuries to become one of the largest in Europe before its eventual destruction. Some time after 600 BC the northern spur of the hill was fortified with one of the most dramatic Iron Age hillfort enclosures in southern Britain. Professor Mercer and his team used the vil lage school as their base during their stay.

The Romans settled in the valley. In 1894 General Pitt- Rivers excavated a site at Park Farm and revealed a Roman Villa. All artefacts were removed from the site and subsequently lost or destroyed. There is no visual evidence left of the site today
In 1084 Farrington and Iwerne Courtney were originally in the Feredone (Farrington) hundred together with Child Okeford, Hanford, Gold Hill and Sutton Waldron. In 1086 smaller hundreds were amalgamated and this one joined the Redlane Hundred.
In the 1200’s “Ywern Manor” was passed into the hands of the Courtneys under the Norman Kings. Robert Courtney died at his manor of “Ywern” on 7 Aug 1242.