Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cotley Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Dunsford, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6942 / 50°41'39"N

Longitude: -3.6151 / 3°36'54"W

OS Eastings: 286019.771927

OS Northings: 89529.185321

OS Grid: SX860895

Mapcode National: GBR QQ.VLVK

Mapcode Global: FRA 3797.RFT

Entry Name: Cotley Castle

Scheduled Date: 21 November 1950

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003180

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 250

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dunsford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Dunsford St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


Slight univallate hillfort known as Cotley Castle.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 4 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 a slight univallate hillfort known as Cotley Castle, situated on a prominent ridge forming the watershed between the Rivers Exe and Teign. The hillfort survives as an irregular shaped enclosure measuring up to 190m long by 135m wide internally and defined by an impressive single rampart bank and partially buried outer ditch. There are two inturned entrances one to the north-west and one to the south.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Slight univallate hillforts are defined as enclosures of various shapes, generally between 1ha and 10ha in size, situated on or close to hilltops and defined by a single line of earthworks, the scale of which is relatively small. They date to between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth - fifth centuries BC), the majority being used for 150 to 200 years prior to their abandonment or reconstruction. Slight univallate hillforts have generally been interpreted as stock enclosures, redistribution centres, places of refuge and permanent settlements. The earthworks generally include a rampart, narrow level berm, external ditch and counterscarp bank, while access to the interior is usually provided by two entrances comprising either simple gaps in the earthwork or an inturned rampart. Slight univallate hillforts are rare although in Devon they comprise one of the major classes of hillfort. They are important for understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities. Despite reduction in the height of the rampart on the western side Cotley Castle survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, use and landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No: 447071

Source: Historic England

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