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Boringdon Camp hillfort and associated remains

A Scheduled Monument in Sparkwell, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.4186 / 50°25'6"N

Longitude: -4.0511 / 4°3'4"W

OS Eastings: 254379.215225

OS Northings: 59645.313351

OS Grid: SX543596

Mapcode National: GBR Q0.R385

Mapcode Global: FRA 27DY.9L9

Entry Name: Boringdon Camp hillfort and associated remains

Scheduled Date: 24 April 1939

Last Amended: 7 November 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019946

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33784

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sparkwell

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Details

This monument includes an Iron Age hillfort with associated outworks and
earlier ring ditch, all located on a flat hilltop with wide local views to the
north.
The hillfort survives as a sub-circular enclosure, defined by a rampart and
outer ditch, with a level interior measuring 145m across. The rampart measures
8m wide, rising from the interior between 0.8m and 1.6m and falling to the
outer ditch between 2.3m and 3.5m. The ditch is 8m wide and between 0.2m and
0.6m deep for most of the fort's circumference. It survives best on the south
east side, where it is 1.5m deep. A slight upcast bank is visible on the west
and north sides, between 8m and 10m wide and surviving up to 0.3m high.
Several entrances cut the rampart, but that on the south side is the only
original one. Here, the rampart turns inward to create an entrance passage 3m
wide,later mutilated and blocked. Outside, the remains of a causeway across
the ditch have been disturbed by a post-medieval quarry. A barbican protected
the entrance. This survives as a trapezoidal earthwork whose interior measures
37.5m from north to south and tapers east to west from 42m wide to 23m at the
south end. A rampart between 5m and 10m wide rises 0.4m from the interior and
falls between 0.7m and 1m to an outer ditch 6m wide and 0.4m deep. The outer
entrance to this barbican is 5m wide and a hollow way leads southward from it.
Part of this hollow way is included in the scheduling.
An outwork, visible as a change in the slope 8m wide and from 0.4m to 0.7m
high, leaves the east side of the fort and curves around to the north west. A
short bank connects this to the main rampart on the north side and measures
12m wide and 0.3m high. The ditch of a crescent shaped outwork on the north
west side, visible from an aerial photograph, is 35m from the rampart and
measures approximately 70m long and 8m wide. A ring ditch 20m to its south is
35m in diameter with a ditch 2m wide. This is likely to represent the levelled
remains of a Late Neolithic or Bronze Age burial mound.
A long earthwork bank to the north west of the fort is on a WNW to ESE
alignment and measures 95m long and 12m wide. It survives up to 0.3m high.
To the east of the fort, running NNE to SSW, is a hollow way 5m wide and
between 0.5m and 2m deep with banks 5m wide and 0.5m high. This was a
medieval road from Plympton to Shaugh Prior, abandoned between 1801 and 1840.
A section of this road is included in the scheduling.
The interpretation boards, and all fence posts and track surfacings are
excluded from the schduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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 some damage to its ramparts, Boringdon Camp hillfort and associated
remains is well-preserved. Its ramparts, surrounding ditch, outworks and
interior will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to
the hillfort and the landscape in which it was built. The outer ramparts
remain of importance in understanding the development of the site.
Ring ditches usually represent the encircling ditch of a bowl barrow, the most
numerous form of round barrow, which are funerary monuments dating from the
Late Neolithic to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the
period 2400 to 1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds,
sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. The close
relationship between the hillfort and the ring ditch to its west suggests a
continuity of use for this area over three millenia.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (2000)
MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (2000)
RCHME fieldwork, Probert, S, (1991)
RCHME fieldwork, Probert, S, (2000)

Source: Historic England

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