Ancient Monuments

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Trendle earthwork north east of Kelly College

A Scheduled Monument in Tavistock, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5581 / 50°33'29"N

Longitude: -4.1324 / 4°7'56"W

OS Eastings: 249050.951255

OS Northings: 75320.953006

OS Grid: SX490753

Mapcode National: GBR NX.G0F4

Mapcode Global: FRA 277L.7XG

Entry Name: Trendle earthwork NE of Kelly College

Scheduled Date: 27 October 1970

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002598

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 764

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Tavistock

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


An Iron Age defended settlement 275m east of Grammerby Barn.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 11 November 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument, which falls into two separate areas of protection, includes an Iron Age defended settlement situated on the upper south east facing slopes of a ridge forming the western edge of the valley of the River Tavy. The defended settlement survives as a rectangular enclosure defined by a rampart measuring up to 8m wide and 1.9m high with a surrounding partially buried outer ditch of up to 5m wide and 0.3m deep. The northern section has been bisected by a road and a railway cutting. The northernmost part of the rampart and ditch survive as slight earthworks and are included in the scheduling. To the south are more substantial earthworks.

The defended settlement is known locally as the ‘Trendle’. Partial excavations in 1965 and 1969 by T Clare revealed a rock cut outer ditch measuring up to 3m wide and 2.5m deep surrounded a revetted rampart, built in two phases which measured up to 4m wide and 2m high. A shallow inturned entrance was found to the north east. Finds from the excavation included decorated late Iron Age pottery.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

During the Iron Age a variety of different types of settlement were constructed and occupied in south western England. At the top of the settlement hierarchy were hillforts built in prominent locations. In addition to these a group of smaller sites, known as defended settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops, others in less prominent positions. They are generally smaller than the hillforts, sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha. The enclosing defences were of earthen construction. Univallate sites have a single bank and ditch, multivallate sites more than one. At some sites these earthen ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber fence or palisade. Where excavated, evidence of stone- or timber-built houses has been found within the enclosures, which, in contrast to the hillfort sites, would have been occupied by small communities, perhaps no more than a single family group. Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element of the settlement pattern, particularly in the upland areas of south western England, and are integral to any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during this period.

Despite being partially bisected by a road and railway cutting the remaining sections of the Iron Age defended settlement 275m east of Grammerby Barn survive comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, use, longevity, agricultural practices, social organisation, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-437922

Source: Historic England

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