Earthworks in Boro' Wood


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Teignbridge (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SX 74869 71598


An enclosure known as Boro’ Wood Castle.

Reasons for Designation

The enclosure known as Boro’ Wood Castle has been open to a number of interpretations and may be the result of one or a combination of several. Possibly it was a slight univallate hillfort, dating back to the Iron Age which subsequently underwent modification as a stock pound during the medieval period. It could have been used as a woodland bank. Although some of the earthworks relating to copper mining are of 19th century date, some of the earthworks could be much earlier and the banks may well have been used to define a mineral deposit. Despite disturbance through stone quarrying on the bank itself and subsequent mining activity this enclosure will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function and possibly adaptive re-use through time indicating the social, economic and climatic changes which have lead to a potentially diverse and fascinating monument.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 12 November 2015. This 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.

This monument includes an enclosure situated on a prominent east facing slope overlooking the valley of the River Ashburn. The enclosure survives as single stony bank measuring up to 9m wide and 1.5m high surrounding an oval interior measuring approximately 256m long by 160m wide. The bank has been disturbed by later stone quarrying and survives differentially. Internally there are many surface undulations and platforms of varying size and shape which have been variously attributed to occupation sites, charcoal burning stands, mining activity or as natural features resulting from several hundred years of afforestation. A small pit close to the centre was probably the result of mineral prospecting of unspecified date, as is a short trench with associated spoil dump in the south of the enclosure. To the north-west is an open mine shaft with an encircling spoil collar associated with the 19th century Arundell or Druid Mine to the west which operated between 1852 until the 1870’s. An upstanding circular earthwork platform north of this shaft would have accommodated a horse whim used to raise and lower materials into the shaft. Further narrow slit trenches in the south east quadrant may be the result of military training, although none is specifically known to have taken place in Boro’ Wood. The enclosure has been variously interpreted as a prehistoric hillfort, a medieval stock enclosure, a copper mine or a woodland bank. It was in existence by at least 1605 because it was been depicted on maps from this time annotated as a ‘castle’. A chance find of a spindle whorl came from the bank, the date is unclear but this may also indicate a domestic or agricultural use.


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

Legacy System number:
DV 824
Legacy System:


PastScape Monument No:-445328


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

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