Ancient Monuments

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Berry Castle hillfort in Huntshaw Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Weare Giffard, Devon

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Latitude: 50.9803 / 50°58'48"N

Longitude: -4.1452 / 4°8'42"W

OS Eastings: 249504.252033

OS Northings: 122285.213703

OS Grid: SS495222

Mapcode National: GBR KM.LFPQ

Mapcode Global: FRA 266J.8WS

Entry Name: Berry Castle hillfort in Huntshaw Wood

Scheduled Date: 10 August 1923

Last Amended: 24 October 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016225

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30301

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Weare Giffard

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Huntshaw St Mary Magdalene

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes an Iron Age hillfort which occupies the summit of a high
hill overlooking the valleys of Huntshaw Water to the north and Darracott
Brook to the south. The site is aligned east-west and is defined by a rampart
bank and outer ditch which surround an internal area 118m long by 52m wide.
The rampart bank stands up to 5.3m wide by 3.8m high and the ditch measures up
to 4m wide and 2m deep. There is a stony outer bank along part of the circuit
and this measures up to 3.6m wide and 0.6m high.
All fences and fenceposts are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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. Postholes revealed by excavation
indicate the occasional presence of portal gateways while more elaborate
features like overlapping ramparts and outworks are limited to only a few
examples. Internal features included timber or stone round houses; large
storage pits and hearths; scattered postholes, stakeholes and gullies; and
square or rectangular buildings supported by four to six posts, often
represented by postholes, and interpreted as raised granaries. Slight
univallate hillforts are rare with around 150 examples recorded nationally.
Although on a national scale the number is low, in Devon they comprise one of
the major classes of hillfort. In other areas where the distribution is
relatively dense, for example, Wessex, Sussex, the Cotswolds and the
Chilterns, hillforts belonging to a number of different classes occur within
the same region. Examples are also recorded in eastern England, the Welsh
Marches, central and southern England. In view of the rarity of slight
univallate hillforts and their importance in understanding the transition
between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities, all examples which survive
comparatively well and have potential for the recovery of further
archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance.

Berry Castle survives comparatively well and contains archaeological and
environmental information relating to the hillfort and exploitation of this
area during the Iron Age.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS42SE7,

Source: Historic England

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