Iron Age defended settlement called Roborough Castle


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1003281

Date first listed: 13-May-1949

Location Description: Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Ordnance survey map of Iron Age defended settlement called Roborough Castle
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location Description: Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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

County: Devon

District: North Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Lynton and Lynmouth

National Park: EXMOOR

National Grid Reference: SS 73060 45988

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. Univallate sites have a single bank and ditch. 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 are a rare monument type. They were an important element of the settlement pattern, particularly in the upland areas of south western England, and are integral to any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during this period. Despite reduction in the height of the rampart and disturbance to the interior through cultivation and some limited quarrying in the south western part of the enclosure, Roborough Castle survives comparatively well and will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, use and landscape context.


This monument includes an Iron Age defended settlement known as Roborough Castle situated on a hill slope overlooking the valley of Hoaroak Water. The defended settlement survives as an oval enclosure measuring up to 70 m long by 64m wide internally defined by a single rampart and partially buried outer ditch. The rampart bank is up to 1.7m high and the ditch up to 4.3m wide and 0.6m deep. There is a simple gap entrance to the south east. There are two low irregular shaped platforms in the centre of the enclosure. The defended settlement is shown on the 1840 Tithe map and annotated 'Danish Fort'.

Sources: NMR:-SS74NW13 PastScape Monument No:-35176


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

Legacy System number: DV 242

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

End of official listing