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Myrtleberry South Camp, a late prehistoric hillslope enclosure 440m south west of Waters Meet House

A Scheduled Monument in Brendon and Countisbury, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.2201 / 51°13'12"N

Longitude: -3.8033 / 3°48'11"W

OS Eastings: 274159.13148

OS Northings: 148309.68239

OS Grid: SS741483

Mapcode National: GBR L2.3J9Y

Mapcode Global: VH5JS.1L6K

Entry Name: Myrtleberry South Camp, a late prehistoric hillslope enclosure 440m south west of Waters Meet House

Scheduled Date: 10 November 1969

Last Amended: 16 October 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020806

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33055

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Brendon and Countisbury

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Lynton St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Details

The monument includes a late prehistoric hillslope enclosure known as
Myrtleberry South Camp which is located just above an east facing valley
side above the Hoaroak River. It is considered to be Iron Age in date and
thus broadly contemporary with the Iron Age multiple enclosure fort of
Myrtleberry North Camp which lies some 450m to the north east, and is the
subject of a seperate scheduling.
The enclosure, which is sub-rectangular in shape with rounded corners, has
been terraced into the hillside and is defined on three sides by a single bank
and ditch. The bank has an average width of 4.5m and is 0.7m high internally
and 1.6m high above the external ditch which is around 4m wide. The ditch has
silted up over the millennia and is no longer visible over much of its length
although it will survive as a buried feature and, where it is visible at the
south western and north western corners of the enclosure, it retains a depth
of 0.5m. The remaining eastern side of the enclosure has been formed by
excavated material from the interior having been dumped downhill to create a
platform marked by an outer facing scarp up to 5m wide and 2m high which
merges at its base with the natural slope of the valley side. The original
entrance was probably on the northern face where there are indicative
earthwork traces and a gap now occupied by a modern path; the gap which lies
directly opposite in the southern face may have been created to facilitate the
path and is thought to be modern. The interior of the enclosure
measures about 80m north east-south west by 35m north west-south east,
providing an area of about 0.28ha within which there are at least seven
identifiable building platforms. Most of these platforms take the form of
crescent-shaped stone-revetted scarps built against the inner western
enclosure wall. They vary in their dimensions from 3m to 10m across and from
0.3m to 1.4m in height.
All fixed information boards 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

Exmoor is the most easterly of the three main upland areas in the south
western peninsula of England. In contrast to the other two areas, Dartmoor
and Bodmin Moor, there has been no history of antiquarian research and
little excavation of Exmoor monuments. However, detailed survey work by
the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England has confirmed
a comparable richness of archaeological remains, with evidence of human
exploitation and occupation from the Mesolithic period to the present day.
Hillslope enclosures provide the main evidence for the Iron Age on Exmoor.
First categorised by Lady Aileen Fox in 1952, their morphology has been
refined by the Royal Commission survey. Despite their name they do not
occur only on hillslopes, although their usual location is on a sheltered
valley side. They are smaller than hillforts, generally no larger than
between 50m and 80m across, and usually less well defended. The enclosure
itself is defined by a single bank, often with an associated ditch, with a
single entrance. In some cases, where natural slopes form part of the
defences, the bank may not form a complete circuit and may be missing
where the angle of slope acts in its stead. Where it can be recognised,
the settlement evidence within these enclosures comprises platforms
indicating the position of buildings.
Around 50 hillslope enclosures with upstanding earthworks have been
identified on Exmoor. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples, particularly those with
a complete or near complete circuit of defences, are considered worthy of
protection.

The hillslope enclosure of Myrtleberry South Camp survives well as a
combination of buried and upstanding remains which together define the full
circuit of the enclosure. The monument is situated on a valley side in a
typical location for its class and exhibits several features common to a
number of hillslope enclosures on Exmoor. It is part of a group of diverse
and broadly contemporary monuments in the area which give an indication of the
nature of settlement in the later prehistoric period. The monument will retain
archaeological information relating to the construction and use of the site,
the lives of its inhabitants, and the landscape in which they lived.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Riley, H, Wilson-North, R, The Field Archaeology of Exmoor, (2001), 65-70
Riley, H, Wilson-North, R, The Field Archaeology of Exmoor, (2001), Fig3.16

Source: Historic England

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