Camp S of Birch Ham Wood
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1002533
Date first listed: 15-Nov-1961
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: North Devon (District Authority)
Parish: Stoke Rivers
National Grid Reference: SS 64952 35619, SS 64954 35702
Slight univallate hillfort 650m north east of Orswell and south of Birch Ham Wood.
Reasons for Designation
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 entrances comprising either simple gaps in the earthwork or an inturned rampart. Slight univallate hillforts are rare nationally, although in Devon they comprise one of the major classes of hillfort. Slight univallate hillforts are important for understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities.
Despite being cut by a road the slight univallate hillfort 650m north east of Orswell survives well and will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, use and landscape context. Furthermore, this hillfort forms part of a discrete cluster of similar monuments and together they will provide a valuable insight into life in the Iron Age in this part of Devon.
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 slight univallate hillfort on the summit of a prominent ridge forming the watershed between two tributaries of the River Yeo. The hillfort survives as an oval enclosure measuring up to 114m long by 80m wide internally, defined by a single rampart and ditch. It has an inturned entrance on the east. Partial excavations during maintenance work to water mains revealed the presence of a berm between the rampart and ditch and showed the partially buried ditch to be clearly defined. The hillfort has also been known as Stoke or Beara Castle. Two other nearby enclosures which occupy the same ridge are the subject of separate schedulings.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DV 458
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:- 34566
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing