Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Earthworks in Boro' Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Ashburton, Devon

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 50.5308 / 50°31'50"N

Longitude: -3.7669 / 3°46'0"W

OS Eastings: 274868.902453

OS Northings: 71602.315158

OS Grid: SX748716

Mapcode National: GBR QG.TXPS

Mapcode Global: FRA 370N.DBM

Entry Name: Earthworks in Boro' Wood

Scheduled Date: 15 June 1972

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002611

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 824

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Ashburton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Ashburton St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


An enclosure known as Boro’ Wood Castle.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 12 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.

This monument includes an enclosure situated on a prominent east facing slope overlooking the valley of the River Ashburn. The enclosure survives as single stony bank measuring up to 9m wide and 1.5m high surrounding an oval interior measuring approximately 256m long by 160m wide. The bank has been disturbed by later stone quarrying and survives differentially. Internally there are many surface undulations and platforms of varying size and shape which have been variously attributed to occupation sites, charcoal burning stands, mining activity or as natural features resulting from several hundred years of afforestation. A small pit close to the centre was probably the result of mineral prospecting of unspecified date, as is a short trench with associated spoil dump in the south of the enclosure. To the north-west is an open mine shaft with an encircling spoil collar associated with the 19th century Arundell or Druid Mine to the west which operated between 1852 until the 1870’s. An upstanding circular earthwork platform north of this shaft would have accommodated a horse whim used to raise and lower materials into the shaft. Further narrow slit trenches in the south east quadrant may be the result of military training, although none is specifically known to have taken place in Boro’ Wood. The enclosure has been variously interpreted as a prehistoric hillfort, a medieval stock enclosure, a copper mine or a woodland bank. It was in existence by at least 1605 because it was been depicted on maps from this time annotated as a ‘castle’. A chance find of a spindle whorl came from the bank, the date is unclear but this may also indicate a domestic or agricultural use.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The enclosure known as Boro’ Wood Castle has been open to a number of interpretations and may be the result of one or a combination of several. Possibly it was a slight univallate hillfort, dating back to the Iron Age which subsequently underwent modification as a stock pound during the medieval period. It could have been used as a woodland bank. Although some of the earthworks relating to copper mining are of 19th century date, some of the earthworks could be much earlier and the banks may well have been used to define a mineral deposit. Despite disturbance through stone quarrying on the bank itself and subsequent mining activity this enclosure will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function and possibly adaptive re-use through time indicating the social, economic and climatic changes which have lead to a potentially diverse and fascinating monument.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-445328

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.