Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Castle Dyke

A Scheduled Monument in Ashcombe, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5829 / 50°34'58"N

Longitude: -3.5249 / 3°31'29"W

OS Eastings: 292139.076309

OS Northings: 77011.660931

OS Grid: SX921770

Mapcode National: GBR P1.L7JR

Mapcode Global: FRA 37HJ.JKT

Entry Name: Castle Dyke

Scheduled Date: 1 May 1952

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004582

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 263

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Ashcombe

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Ashcombe St Nectan

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


Slight univallate hillfort known as Castle Dyke.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 5 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 Castle Dyke, situated on the summit of Little Haldon Hill overlooking the valley of Smallacombe Goyle. The hillfort includes an oval enclosure which measures up to 90m long by 76m wide internally, defined by a single rampart bank measuring up to 1.5m high and a partially buried outer ditch which is up to 0.5m deep. To the east is a simple entrance with a causeway over the ditch. The ditch has been cut to the south by a road. The hillfort is referred to as ‘Eordbirig’ in a charter of 1044.
Two barrows a short distance east of the hillfort are not included within this 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, narrow level berm, external ditch and counterscarp bank, while access to the interior is often provided by a simple gap entrance. Slight univallate hillforts are rare nationally, 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 being cut by a road to the south and some erosion caused by visitor erosion in the form of tracks and paths, the slight univallate hillfort called Castle Dyke survives comparatively well and will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, use and landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:- 447664

Source: Historic England

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