Ancient Monuments

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Cranbrook Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Moretonhampstead, Devon

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Latitude: 50.687 / 50°41'13"N

Longitude: -3.7869 / 3°47'12"W

OS Eastings: 273869.180325

OS Northings: 89010.545095

OS Grid: SX738890

Mapcode National: GBR QF.B4WV

Mapcode Global: FRA 27Y8.BHR

Entry Name: Cranbrook Castle

Scheduled Date: 26 November 1928

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003860

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 143

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Moretonhampstead

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Moretonhampstead St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


Slight univallate hillfort known as Cranbrook Castle.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 28 October 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 situated on the summit of Cranbrook Down overlooking the River Teign. The hillfort survives as a square enclosure measuring 160m across internally. It is defined to the north by a single rampart. To the east, west and south is a substantial rampart bank with a stone core, some stone revetment and a deep outer ditch. Whilst to the south and south west only is a further ditched counterscarp bank. There are two entrances to the interior, a simple gap with causeway to the east and to the south west a causewayed gap further protected by a curved extension to the ditched counterscarp bank. The differences in the nature of the defences to the north and south have been attributed to different phases of construction rather than a response to the topographic location of the fort. Partial excavations in 1901 by Baring Gould of two hut circles on the eastern side of the hillfort interior produced some pottery and part of a rotary quern, although these features are not visible as earthworks. Cairns within the northern part of the hillfort are thought to be clearance cairns from past cultivation of the interior.

Further archaeological remains survive within the vicinity of the monument, but these are not included within the scheduling because they have not been formally assessed.

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, external ditch and counterscarp bank, while access to the interior is usually provided by two entrances these usually comprise a simple gap, more elaborate features like overlapping ramparts and outworks are limited to only a few examples. Slight univallate hillforts are rare although in Devon they comprise one of the major classes of hillfort. Slight univallate hillforts are important for understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities. Despite cultivation of the interior Cranbrook Castle survives comparatively well and is unusual since it has revetted stone ramparts and an outer ditched counterscarp bank. It will contain important archaeological end environmental evidence relating to its construction, use and landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:- 445462

Source: Historic England

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