Berry Castle hillfort in Huntshaw Wood

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016225

Date first listed: 10-Aug-1923

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Oct-1997

Map

Ordnance survey map of Berry Castle hillfort in Huntshaw Wood
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 14-Nov-2018 at 17:16:50.

Location

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

County: Devon

District: Torridge (District Authority)

Parish: Huntshaw

National Grid Reference: SS 49502 22284

Summary

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.

Berry Castle survives comparatively well and contains archaeological and environmental information relating to the hillfort and exploitation of this area during the Iron Age.

History

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

Details

The monument includes an Iron Age hillfort which occupies the summit of a high hill overlooking the valleys of Huntshaw Water to the north and Darracott Brook to the south. The site is aligned east-west and is defined by a rampart bank and outer ditch which surround an internal area 118m long by 52m wide. The rampart bank stands up to 5.3m wide by 3.8m high and the ditch measures up to 4m wide and 2m deep. There is a stony outer bank along part of the circuit and this measures up to 3.6m wide and 0.6m high. All fences and fenceposts 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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 30301

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS42SE7,

End of official listing