Hillfort on Whitechapel Moors, 640m north east of Garliford Mill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016214

Date first listed: 24-Oct-1968

Date of most recent amendment: 17-May-2000


Ordnance survey map of Hillfort on Whitechapel Moors, 640m north east of Garliford Mill
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. 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: Bishop's Nympton

National Grid Reference: SS 75716 26373


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.

The hillfort on Whitechapel Moors, 640m north east of Garliford Mill survives comparatively well and contains archaeological and environmental information relating to the settlement and exploitation of this area during the Iron Age.


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


This monument includes an Iron Age hillfort situated on the summit of a high ridge with commanding views over the local surrounding area and overlooking the valley of the River Yeo to the south. The monument survives as a sub-rectangular enclosure defined by a single rampart and outer ditch. The whole is aligned from east to west and encloses an internal area which measures 161m long by 125m wide. On the southern side, especially in the south western corner, the rampart is preserved as a flattened platform which measures 7.7m wide and up to 0.4m high. Further east the southern rampart survives as a large bank up to 12.1m wide and 2.5m high which gradually peters out at both its eastern and western extremities. The ditch in this area is preserved largely as a buried feature. It measures up to 5.7m wide and is 0.1m deep. On the eastern side of the hillfort the rampart varies greatly in height and width being up to 8.4m wide and 2.3m high externally and 1.7m high internally. The outer ditch is on average 4.2m wide, but up to 4.6m wide in places and is 0.4m deep. In the north east corner where there is a gateway in the post and wire fence the rampart has been cut by a track. A modern field boundary bank now overlies the original line of the northern side of the hillfort. This modern bank is 1.7m wide and 1m high. On the northern side the rampart is up to 7.1m wide, 0.3m high internally and 0.9m high externally with the modern field boundary sitting on top. The ditch to the north survives as an infilled flattened area up to 2.5m wide. On the northern side, to the west of the centre, an entrance cuts across the rampart and field boundary which is up to 3.3m wide. Further west is a second entrance which is up to 7.5m wide. The rampart survives here as a flattened bank up to 9.2m wide and up to 2.6m high externally. On the western side the rampart measures up to 10.5m wide, 0.8m high externally and 0.45m high internally. The ditch is 3.4m wide and 0.1m deep.

All fences and fence posts are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath them 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: 30318

Legacy System: RSM


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS72NE5,

End of official listing