Stockland Little Castle


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017953

Date first listed: 29-Oct-1956

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jun-1998


Ordnance survey map of Stockland Little Castle
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: East Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Stockland

National Grid Reference: ST 22986 03609


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

Reasons for Designation

Rounds are small embanked enclosures with an external ditch, usually circular or oval, forming one of a range of known settlement types dating to the later Iron Age and Roman periods. They usually have a single earth-and-rubble bank and an outer ditch, broken by one entrance gap. Excavated examples have produced dry-stone supporting walls within the bank, paved or cobbled entrance ways and post-built gate structures. Excavated features within rounds have included foundations of timber, turf or stone-built houses, of oval or rectangular plan, often set around the inner edge of the enclosing bank. Other features include hearths, drains, gullies, pits, and rubbish middens. Evidence for industrial activities has been recovered from some sites, including small scale metal working, and among the domestic debris occur items traded from distant sources. Some rounds are associated with secondary enclosures often circular or rectangular, and either butted against the round as an annexe or forming an additional enclosure up to 100m away. Rounds are viewed primarily as agricultural settlement types, the equivalents of farming hamlets, replaced by unenclosed settlement types by the 7th century AD. Over 750 rounds are recorded nationally, occurring throughout the areas bordering the Irish Sea, and confined in England largely to Cornwall and south west Devon, although a few have been recognised further east. They are most densely concentrated in west Cornwall and are usually sited on hill-slopes and spurs. They are particularly important as one of the major sources of information on settlement and social organisation of the Iron Age and Roman periods in south west England. Consequently, sites displaying an extensive complete ground plan representative of the range of known types, topographical locations, and geographical spread, will normally be considered to be of national importance.

Stockland Little Castle is located well to the east of the previously accepted range of rounds. Nevertheless, its siting on a hill-slope spur, its shape, and the nature and appearance of its banked and ditched enclosure, are all characteristic of this type of monument. It is therefore a significant example of its type lying at some distance from their area of heaviest concentration. It survives well and will retain archaeological evidence for the monument's construction, the lives of its inhabitants, and the landscape in which they lived. A hillfort of similar date is located some 900m south of this monument.


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


The monument includes Stockland Little Castle, a settlement of later prehistoric to Roman date known as a round. It is near circular in plan with an enclosed area of just over 1ha defended by a single rampart and ditch. The site is located on a hill-slope spur on the east facing slope of the long Greensand ridge which lies between the Umborne Brook and the River Yarty. The enclosed interior of the site has maximum dimensions of 126m north south by 104m east-west. The ground surface of the interior is slightly domed; this may be the effect of soil quarries for the construction of the rampart and this feature is particularly clear behind the inner face of the rampart on its south east side. The rampart survives over most of its circuit as an 8m wide earthen bank with chert and Greensand inclusions. It has an external height of 2.5m with a steep slope and near vertical inner face with a maximum height of 2m. The rampart has been broken through and levelled in two places in comparatively recent times: once on the south west side where just over 23m of the original bank was removed but then later mostly reinstated to leave a gap only about 6m wide; and once on the north east side where a 14.7m stretch has been removed and replaced by later banking and hedging. The location of the original entrance has been identified in archaeological survey by the presence of a causeway in the ditch forward of the area on the north east where the rampart was removed. The encircling ditch of the site survives as a visible feature on the north and east side of the monument where it is a maximum of 1m deep and between 5m-6m in width. It forms a wide depression in the field fronting the south east face of the rampart with a width from its outer lip to the rampart of 7m. Elsewhere on the circuit it has been infilled and it is no longer visible as a feature on the ground on the western and north western sides. All fencing and fence posts, and gates and gate posts, 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: 29647

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Fox, A, Prehistoric Hillforts in Devon, (1996), 53
Griffith, F, Devon's Past: An Aerial View, (1988), 99
Kirwan, R, 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in Prehistoric Archaeology of East Devon, , Vol. 4 part 2, (1871), 648
Wall, J C, 'A History of the County of Devon (Victoria County History)' in Ancient Earthworks, , Vol. I, (1906)
County Planning Dept. files, Child, PC, Prehistoric Archaeology of East Devon, (1973)
Quinnell, NV, (1982)
Woolcombe, (1840)

End of official listing