Ancient Monuments

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Woodbury Camp

A Scheduled Monument in Stoke Fleming, Devon

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Latitude: 50.348 / 50°20'52"N

Longitude: -3.628 / 3°37'40"W

OS Eastings: 284264.585726

OS Northings: 51052.235221

OS Grid: SX842510

Mapcode National: GBR QQ.CHLJ

Mapcode Global: FRA 3893.SGP

Entry Name: Woodbury Camp

Scheduled Date: 12 March 1953

Last Amended: 20 July 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019783

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33769

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Stoke Fleming

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Stoke Fleming St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes a slight univallate hillfort, located on the south face
of a hilltop overlooking a deep valley west of Dartmouth. It commands a high
and prominent location with extensive local views.
The monument survives as an oval enclosure defined by a rampart. It is
aligned from east to west, its interior measuring 160m long by 110m wide, cut
into two unequal parts by a hedgebank which passes from north west to south
east. Two faint earthwork terraces 3m wide and up to 0.3m high are visible on
the west side of the interior. On the eastern side of the interior, a natural
hollow 40m wide contains an intermittent spring.
The ramparts are best preserved on the north side, where the bank is 11m wide,
rising up to 1.8m from the interior and falling 3.5m to an outer ditch 14m
wide with a slight counterscarp bank 4m wide by 0.2m high. The other ramparts
have been ploughed regularly since at least 1945, that on the west end
surviving between 15m and 22m wide, rising up to 0.7m from the interior and
falling 1.6m to the ditch. This ditch is 7m wide by 0.8m deep, with a
counterscarp bank 13m wide by up to 0.3m high. The southern and eastern
ramparts are less well preserved, with the bank visible as a change in the
slope from 8m to 13m wide and up to 1.5m high. The position of the outer
ditch is marked by a terrace 8m wide. Its outer edge slopes away, for a
further 11m, falling 0.6m to the natural slope.
Two entrances are visible. On the south side, a reduction in rampart height to
0.4m coincides with a faint hornwork projecting from the rampart to the east.
This is 10m wide by up to 0.3m high and projects 30m from the rampart. A
reduction in rampart height on the south west side of the hillfort suggests a
later entrance, cut through the earthworks.
All fence posts and a concrete water cistern which is built into the western
end of the north rampart are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath them 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 damage to its ramparts, the Iron Age hillfort known as Woodbury Camp
survives well. Its ramparts, hornwork, surrounding ditch and interior contain
archaeological and environmental information relating to the hillfort and the
landscape in which it was built. The intermittent spring within the ramparts
may preserve waterlogged remains.

Source: Historic England


RCHM fieldwork by P Pattison, Pattison, P, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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