Slight univallate hillfort 920m ESE of Holt Farm.
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 by two entrances comprising either simple gaps in the earthwork or an inturned rampart. Postholes revealed by excavation indicate the occasional presence of portal gateways while more elaborate features like overlapping ramparts and outworks are limited to only a few examples. Internal features included timber or stone round houses; large storage pits and hearths; scattered postholes, stakeholes and gullies; and square or rectangular buildings supported by four to six posts, often represented by postholes, and interpreted as raised granaries.
Slight univallate hillforts are rare with around 150 examples recorded nationally. Although on a national scale the number is low, in Devon they comprise one of the major classes of hillfort. In other areas where the distribution is relatively dense, for example, Wessex, Sussex, the Cotswolds and the Chilterns, hillforts belonging to a number of different classes occur within the same region. Examples are also recorded in eastern England, the Welsh Marches, central and southern England. They are rare and important for understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities.
Despite some quarrying and reduction in the heights of the ramparts through past cultivation, the slight univallate hillfort 920m ESE of Holt Farm survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, trade, agricultural practices, social organisation, territorial significance, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 9 July 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 situated on the upper north west facing slopes of a steeply sloping plateau overlooking the valleys of two tributaries to the Beesmoor Brook. The settlement survives as an oval enclosure measuring approximately 137m long by 104m wide defined by a bank with a partially visible external ditch and a buried internal one. The bank survives differentially throughout its circuit and stands up to 2m high above the visible ditch in places. The inner ditch was only confirmed by a resistivity survey which also proved the existence of internal circular hut like features, visible as crop and soil marks on some aerial photographs. Further such features surviving beyond the defences to the west are not included within the scheduling because they have not yet been assessed.
The hillfort may have a Late Bronze Age origin. It is also known by the local name of ‘Roel Camp’ and ‘Camp south of Bespidge Wood’.