Ancient Monuments

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Hilltop enclosure 100m north east of Castle Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Stowford, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6472 / 50°38'49"N

Longitude: -4.2588 / 4°15'31"W

OS Eastings: 240397.603008

OS Northings: 85493.500758

OS Grid: SX403854

Mapcode National: GBR NQ.8HXF

Mapcode Global: FRA 17ZC.DMR

Entry Name: Hilltop enclosure 100m north east of Castle Farm

Scheduled Date: 23 October 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017968

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30330

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Stowford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes a hilltop enclosure located on a high ridge above the
confluence of the Rivers Wolf, Thrushel and Lyd. It commands a high and
prominent location with wide local views.
The monument survives as an oval enclosure marked by a rampart. It is
aligned from north east to south west and its interior measures 86.6m long by
48.2m wide. The rampart measures from 5.9m up to 12m wide and is a maximum of
1.9m high. The outer ditch surrounding the rampart is evident on the eastern
side where it is 6.8m wide and up to 0.3m deep; elsewhere it survives as a
buried feature.
A field boundary bisects the site from north to south and there is a
height difference in the land surface of up to 1.8m. A further field boundary
curves around the site to the north and overlies the outer ditch, fossilising
the shape of the enclosure and incorporating the rampart into the field
boundary on the north eastern quadrant. A series of three stone quarries of
varying size have also cut into the surface of the enclosure; two lie on the
eastern half and the third on the north western edge.
The field boundary which crosses the monument is excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath 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.

Despite limited damage as a result of small scale quarrying, the hilltop
enclosure 100m north east of Castle Farm survives well and contains
archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument, its
location and the landscape in which it functioned. It has been suggested
that this earthwork represents the site of the Anglo-Saxon settlement of

Source: Historic England


Hill, D., Lifton, Devon : Excavation and Study Weeks etc., 1997, Unpublished
MPP fieldwork by H. Gerrard, Gerrard, H., (1997)

Source: Historic England

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