Brightley Barton camp


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016205

Date first listed: 13-Feb-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Aug-1997


Ordnance survey map of Brightley Barton camp
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: North Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Chittlehampton

National Grid Reference: SS 61248 22911


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.

Brightley Barton camp survives comparatively well and contains archaeological and environmental information relating to the settlement and exploitation of this area during the Iron Age. Small enclosures such as this, although more common in neighbouring Cornwall, are considered relatively rare in Devon.


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


The monument includes a sub-circular Iron Age hillfort situated on the hilltop of a narrow ridge between two valleys of tributaries to the River Taw and which itself overlooks the main valley of the river. The monument survives as a sub-circular bank and outer ditch surrounding a 34m diameter internal area. The ditch measures 5.3m wide and 0.6m deep to the west, and 4.2m wide and 0.4m deep on the eastern side. The bank measures 2.3m wide and up to 1.4m high externally and 2.3m high internally on its western side. There is also a length of walling which acts as a revetment. To the east the bank is a very low, spread feature with a maximum height of 0.1m. A section of field boundary crossing the monument from north to south, and a later post and wire fence surrounding the western section are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath these features is included.

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.


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

Legacy System number: 30308

Legacy System: RSM


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS62SW6,

End of official listing