Earthwork E of Buck's Mills


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1002527

Date first listed: 12-Jan-1961


Ordnance survey map of Earthwork E of Buck's Mills
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: Torridge (District Authority)

Parish: Parkham

National Grid Reference: SS 35888 23491


Iron Age defended settlement 170m north of Woodpeckers Halt.

Reasons for Designation

During the Iron Age a variety of different types of settlement were constructed and occupied in south western England. At the top of the settlement hierarchy were hillforts built in prominent locations. In addition to these a group of smaller sites, known as defended settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops, others in less prominent positions. They are generally smaller than the hillforts, sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha. The enclosing defences were of earthen construction. At some sites these earthen ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber fence or palisade. Where excavated, evidence of stone- or timber-built houses has been found within the enclosures, which, in contrast to the hillfort sites, would have been occupied by small communities, perhaps no more than a single family group.

Defended settlements were an important element of the settlement pattern, particularly in south western England, and are integral to any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during this period. Despite the reduction in the height of the western bank through quarrying and some cultivation of the eastern side of the interior, the defended settlement north east of Buck’s Mills survives comparatively well and it will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, use and landscape context.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 4 November 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a defended settlement on a prominent coastal cliff top location overlooking Gauter Point. The defended settlement survives as an enclosure measuring up to 110m long by 50m wide internally, defined by a single bank. To the east it has two right angled corners, but the enclosure narrows to the west. The northern side is defined by a 3m high natural steep scarp slope. The bank is up to 1.7m high externally. The western end had been partially disturbed by quarrying.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: DV 448

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


PastScape Monument No:- 32644

End of official listing