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Hillfort 400m north west of Woodhouse

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Hillfort 400m north west of Woodhouse

List entry Number: 1015463

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: North Devon

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Queen's Nympton

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 24-Oct-1968

Date of most recent amendment: 23-Dec-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 28623

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

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. In view of the rarity of slight univallate hillforts and their importance in understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities, all examples which survive comparatively well and have potential for the recovery of further archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance.

Despite later reuse of the area, the hillfort 400m north west of Woodhouse survives comparatively well and contains archaeological and environmental information relating to the settlement and exploitation of this area during the Iron Age.

History

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

Details

This monument includes a slight univallate hillfort which is situated slightly to the west of the highest point on the top of a prominent hill. It overlooks the valleys of the Rivers Mole and Crooked Oak, and also the confluence of the Rivers Mole and Bray and the settlements of George Nympton to the north west and Alswear to the ESE where the major river crossing is located. The monument survives as an irregular enclosure with a bank, ditch and an outer rampart. The central enclosed area measures 63m long from north west to south east, 34m wide at its widest from WSW to ENE and 22.6m wide from west to east at its narrowest. Within the central enclosed area there is a 4m wide and up to 0.3m high bank which extends around the north, west and eastern sides but this peters out to the south. In the north western corner is a further raised area, roughly oval in shape and measuring 5.5m long by 4m wide and up to 0.45m high. The whole internal area creates a slightly raised platform above the height of the surrounding field. Beyond the bank is a ditch, which to the west measures 5.8m wide and 0.6m deep. To the north the ditch is 5.4m wide and 0.3m deep and on the eastern side it is 7.5m wide and 0.3m deep. Outside the ditch is an outer rampart which is best preserved as a bank on the north eastern, eastern and western sides, downslope to the south it peters out to form a lynchet, and it also peters out in the north western corner. The maximum width of the bank is 7.8m and it attains a height of up to 0.6m.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Wilson-North, R et al, Earthwork North of Woodhouse Farm, (1995)
Higham, R A, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Devon Castles: An Annotated List, , Vol. 46, (1988), 142-9
Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS72SW3, (1985)
MPP fieldwork by H. Gerrard, (1995)
National Archaeological Record, SS72SW1,

National Grid Reference: SS 71260 22404

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Dec-2017 at 07:22:04.

End of official listing