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Hilltop enclosure and woodbanks in Chacegrove Wood, 540m north west of Dartington Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Dartington, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.4546 / 50°27'16"N

Longitude: -3.7005 / 3°42'1"W

OS Eastings: 279377.073439

OS Northings: 63023.025672

OS Grid: SX793630

Mapcode National: GBR QL.KWHN

Mapcode Global: FRA 374V.G50

Entry Name: Hilltop enclosure and woodbanks in Chacegrove Wood, 540m north west of Dartington Hall

Scheduled Date: 6 March 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020553

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33786

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartington

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Dartington St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Details

This monument includes a hilltop enclosure located in a wood on the gentle
south facing slope of a low hill, with medieval and post-medieval woodbanks
adjoining to the south and east.
The enclosure survives as a flattened ovoid earthwork, aligned east to west.
Its interior measures 22m long and 6m wide with a low internal bank, aligned
north to south, 4m wide and 0.3m high. The enclosure bank measures 10m wide
and is from 0.4m to 0.7m high, with an entrance 3m wide on its north side. No
traces of an outer ditch survive.
A medieval woodbank to the west of the enclosure is 3m wide, sloping up 1.6m
from the interior of Chacegrove Wood on the north side and falling vertically
into the field to its south. This was an internal division of the medieval
Dartington deer park, with a wooded chase to the north east and open ground to
the south west. It is sinuous in shape and survives for a distance of 245m,
enclosing the south side of Chacegrove Wood.
A post-medieval woodbank runs along the south east side of the wood, south
east of the medieval woodbank. It is constructed of stone rubble enclosing
an earth bank 2m wide and up to 1.6m high. A rock cut ditch to its north west
measures 5m wide and up to 1m deep and provided the limestone facing for the
bank.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, 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

Hilltop enclosures are defined as sub-rectangular or elongated areas of
ground, usually between 10ha and 40ha in size, situated on hilltops or
plateaux and surrounded by slight univallate earthworks. They date to between
the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth-fifth centuries BC) and are usually
interpreted as stock enclosures or sites where agricultural produce was
stored. Many examples of hilltop enclosures may have developed into more
strongly defended sites later in the Iron Age period and are therefore often
difficult to recognise in their original form. The earthworks generally
consist of a bank separated from an external ditch by a level berm. Access to
the interior was generally provided by two or three entrances which consisted
of simple gaps in the rampart. Evidence for internal features is largely
dependent on excavation, and to date this has included large areas of sparsely
scattered features including post and stakeholes, hearths and pits.
Rectangular or square buildings are also evident; these are generally defined
by between four and six postholes and are thought to have supported raised
granaries. Hilltop enclosures are rare, with between 25 and 30 examples
recorded nationally. A greater number may exist but these could have been
developed into hillforts later in the Iron Age and could only be confirmed by
detailed survey or excavation. The majority of known examples are located in
two regions, on the chalk downland of Wessex and Sussex and in the Cotswolds.
More scattered examples are found in north-east Oxfordshire and north
Northamptonshire. This class of monument has not been recorded outside
England. In view of the rarity of hilltop enclosures and their importance in
understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities, all
examples with surviving archaeological remains are believed to be of
national importance.

Despite slight damage to its ramparts, the hilltop enclosure in Chacegrove
Wood, 540m north west of Dartington Hall is well-preserved. Its rampart,
buried ditch and interior contain archaeological and environmental information
relating to the enclosure and the landscape in which it was built.
Its relationship with the medieval and post-medieval woodbanks which adjoin it
is of importance to the future understanding of the site. The deerpark at
Dartington and its internal woodbanks retain important features relating to
the development and use of this complex site. Stratified archaeological
deposits are likely to survive in the ditches and beneath the banks and will
be of considerable importance to the future understanding of the monument.
The deer park and its internal woodbanks, including that within this
scheduling, retain important features relating to the development and use of
this complex site. Stratified archaeological deposits are likely to survive
in the ditches and beneath the banks and will be of considerable importance to
the future understanding of the monument.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (2000)
MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (2000)

Source: Historic England

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