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Iron Age hillfort known as Wasteberry Camp, medieval deer park and post-medieval warren, 800m north west of Lyneham House

A Scheduled Monument in Brixton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.3681 / 50°22'5"N

Longitude: -4.0095 / 4°0'34"W

OS Eastings: 257185.526515

OS Northings: 53955.741061

OS Grid: SX571539

Mapcode National: GBR Q3.77WY

Mapcode Global: FRA 28H2.7SN

Entry Name: Iron Age hillfort known as Wasteberry Camp, medieval deer park and post-medieval warren, 800m north west of Lyneham House

Scheduled Date: 12 February 1958

Last Amended: 24 April 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020160

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33794

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Brixton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument, which falls into three seperate areas of protection,
includes a Late Iron Age multiple enclosure fort, a section of the pale
which enclosed the medieval Lyneham deer park, and the bank enclosing a
post-medieval rabbit warren containing three rabbit buries and an
associated warrener's house. The fort sits on a broad spur on the edge of
the steep sided valley of a small stream known as the Silverbridge Lake.
Three lines of ramparts defend the level approaches on the north and west
sides of the spur and are from 15m to 40m apart, separated by mainly level
areas, sloping gently down at their south and east ends. The outer rampart
survives mainly as an abrupt scarp, falling between 1m and 3m into the
outer ditch, which varies from 5m to 10m wide and is up to 1m deep, with a
counterscarp bank up to 10m wide and 0.3m high. The entrance lies to the
north west with an inturned bank on its north side, and a massive southern
bank, thickening up to 8m wide, rising 2m from the interior and falling
between 4m and 5m to the ditch. At the south end, the gap between the
outer and middle ramparts is closed by a slight scarp, falling away to the
south. The middle rampart's bank measures from 10m to 18m wide, rising 1m
from the interior and falling 3m to an external ditch 6m wide and from
0.4m to 1m deep. A counterscarp bank on the west side measures 21m wide
and falls 2.5m at its south end, to a second ditch 8m wide and 0.2m deep.
This counterscarp quickly disappears north of the entrance, which is in
line with that in the outer rampart. Here, a causeway 20m wide crosses the
ditch, with the inner bank widening to 18m, with plain terminals. A
possible second entrance at the south end of the rampart is marked by a
thickening of the terminal. Much of the inner rampart is very slight, its
bank measuring 4m wide and 1.7m high with traces of an outer ditch 10m
wide and 0.2m deep. The entrance is in the same position as the others,
but is very slight in appearance. East of this, the north rampart widens
to 9m and is 3m high at one point, but decreases in size towards its east
end, where it turns to the south for a short distance, following the steep
east side of the fort. No ramparts are present on the steep natural valley
sides. The inner rampart has been remodelled to form part of the pale for
Lyneham deer park, in existence by 1610. A drystone rubble wall 2m high on
its inner side is accompanied by a wide flat-bottomed ditch and continues,
facing an earth bank 3m wide and 2m high, from the south side of the fort
down into the valley. From the north side of the fort, the pale runs along
the west and north sides of Warren Wood, continuing across the valley to
the north east, where a separate length survives for a short distance and
is included in this scheduling. A further surviving length to the south
east of this is the subject of a separate scheduling.

An earth bank along the valley floor on the east side of Warren Wood
retained a post-medieval rabbit warren, a 1.3m high stone wall and
accompanying ditch on its inside preventing the rabbits from escaping,
while permitting the deer to leap in. A cluster of three rabbit buries at
the north end of Warren Wood are laid out in a line. The southern bury is
oval and measures 8m wide, 10m long and 1m high with traces of an
encircling ditch. The central mound is 9m in diameter and 1m high with
steeply sloping sides, while the northern one is oval, measuring 8m long,
6.5m wide and 1.2m high with steep sides. Neither have ditches.

A single-roomed warrener's house of stone rubble survives as a ruin within
the ramparts of the hillfort. This had two storeys and measures 7m long by
5m wide. Each room had a fireplace, with an oven in the ground floor room,
and a newel stair which gave access to the first floor. The house was
located on the highest point of the warren and overlooked most of this and
the park to its east.

The fence posts and track surfacings 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

Multiple enclosure forts comprise an inner and one or more outer enclosed
areas, together measuring up to c.10ha, and defined by sub-circular or sub-
rectangular earthworks spaced at intervals which exceed 15m; the inner
enclosure is usually entirely surrounded by a bank and ditch. The forts date
mainly to the Late Iron Age (350 BC-c.AD 50) and in England usually occur in
the south west. Most are sited on hillslopes overlooked by higher ground near
a water supply, and many were apparently used for periods of up to 250 years.
The outer enclosures of the forts are usually interpreted as areas set aside
for the containment of livestock, whilst the inner enclosures are generally
thought to have been the focus of occupation.
The earthworks usually include a bank with an outer V-shaped ditch 1m-3m deep.
Entrances are generally single gaps through each line of defence, often
aligned to create a passage from the outer to the inner enclosure, although
there are a few examples where entrances through successive earthworks are not
in alignment. Occasionally the interval between the gaps is marked by inturned
ramparts or low banks and ditches, while the outer entrance may be screened by
a short length of earthwork. Excavations within the inner enclosures have
revealed a range of buildings and structures, including circular structures,
hearths, ovens and cobbled surfaces as well as occasional small pits and large
depressions which may have functioned as watering holes.
Multiple enclosure forts are relatively rare with only around 75 examples
recorded in England, mostly in Devon and Cornwall. Outside these counties
their distribution becomes increasingly scattered and the form and
construction methods more varied. They are important for the study of
settlement and stock management in the later prehistoric period, and most
well-preserved examples will be identified as being of national importance.

Despite slight damage by ploughing and stock erosion, the hillfort known
as Wasteberry Camp will preserve features relating to the development and
use of the site. Stratified archaeological deposits are likely to survive
in the ditches, ramparts and interior of this previously unexcavated
hillfort and will add considerably to the future understanding of this
monument and hillforts in general.

Deer parks are areas set apart for the management and hunting of deer and
other wild animals, dating from the 12th to 17th centuries, with most
examples belonging to the 13th and 14th centuries. They were enclosed by
high earth banks, sometimes stone faced, with large inner ditches,
designed to allow deer to leap in, but preventing them from escaping.
Despite some losses, the pale surrounding the deer park at Lyneham
survives well, containing information relating to its construction and
use. The bank and ditch will preserve stratified deposits. The reuse of
the inner rampart of Wasteberry hillfort as part of the pale is unusual.

Warrens are areas, occasionally associated with deer parks, set apart for
the breeding and management of rabbits or hares. They usually consist of
an enclosure to contain and protect the animals, with pillow mounds or
buries to house the animals, and living quarters for the warrener who kept
charge of the warren. They date from between the 12th and 19th centuries,
with most examples dating from the 17th century onwards. The warren at
Lyneham is well-preserved, its enclosure bank, rabbit buries and
warrener's house together being a rare survival.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Woolner, D, A, , 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in , , Vol. 88, (1956), 86-89
MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (2000)
MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (2000)

Source: Historic England

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