Ancient Monuments

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Camp south east of Okehampton

A Scheduled Monument in Belstone, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.7301 / 50°43'48"N

Longitude: -3.9783 / 3°58'41"W

OS Eastings: 260475.814311

OS Northings: 94139.170597

OS Grid: SX604941

Mapcode National: GBR Q3.P9X9

Mapcode Global: FRA 27K4.V8C

Entry Name: Camp SE of Okehampton

Scheduled Date: 26 June 1924

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003873

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 105

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Belstone

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Okehampton All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Summary

Promontory fort 270m west of the confluence of the East Okement River and Moor Brook.

Source: Historic England

Details

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 promontory fort situated in an elevated position at the tip of the spur between the East Okement River and the Moor Brook. The promontory fort includes a north and west facing single rampart and external ditch with a well defined gap in the centre of the western side, which represents an original entrance. The rampart is composed of stones and earth with a drystone revetment and measures up to 9m wide by 2.5m high and protects a gently sloping area to the east, which is bounded on the south and east by very steep slopes leading into the valley below. This area will contain traces of contemporary occupation. Within the south eastern part of the fort is a small area denoted by a stoney scarp, which may represent the remains of an earlier enclosure. The northern part of the fort is enclosed by a field built between 1885 and 1905. Within this area the rampart and ditch survive less well. In the southern part of the fort traces of later ridge and furrow are visible.

Partial excavation in 1939 revealed the character of the rampart, but no dateable material was recovered.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Promontory forts are a type of hillfort in which conspicuous naturally defended sites are adapted as enclosures by the construction of one or more earth or stone ramparts placed across the neck of a spur in order to divide it from the surrounding land. Coastal situations, using headlands defined by steep natural cliffs, are common while inland similar topographic settings defined by natural cliffs are also used. The ramparts and accompanying ditches formed the main artificial defence, but timber palisades may have been erected along the cliff edges. Access to the interior was generally provided by an entrance through the ramparts. The interior of the fort was used intensively for settlement and related activities, and evidence for timber- and stone-walled round houses can be expected, together with the remains of buildings used for storage and enclosures for animals. Promontory forts are generally Iron Age in date, most having been constructed and used between the sixth century BC and the mid-first century AD. They are broadly contemporary with other types of hillfort. They are regarded as settlements of high status, probably occupied on a permanent basis, and recent interpretations suggest that their construction and choice of location had as much to do with display as defence. Promontory forts are rare nationally with less than 100 recorded examples. In view of their rarity and their importance in the understanding of the nature of social organisation in the later prehistoric period, all examples with surviving archaeological remains are considered nationally important.

Despite medieval and post-medieval agricultural activity, the promontory fort 270m west of the confluence of the East Okement River and Moor Brook survives comparatively well and will contain information concerning Iron Age activity on the northern edge of Dartmoor. Evidence relating to the occupation of this area in the Bronze Age may also survive, particularly within the south eastern quadrant.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PastScape Monument No:- 444130

Source: Historic England

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