Enclosure in Brandis Wood, 175m north of Longham


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018497

Date first listed: 15-Apr-1977

Date of most recent amendment: 29-Sep-1998


Ordnance survey map of Enclosure in Brandis Wood, 175m north of Longham
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Coryton

National Grid Reference: SX 47607 83617


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

Reasons for Designation

Hilltop enclosures are defined as sub-rectangular or elongated areas of ground, usually between 10ha and 40ha in size, situated on hilltops or plateaux and surrounded by slight univallate earthworks. They date to between the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth-fifth centuries BC) and are usually interpreted as stock enclosures or sites where agricultural produce was stored. Many examples of hilltop enclosures may have developed into more strongly defended sites later in the Iron Age period and are therefore often difficult to recognise in their original form. The earthworks generally consist of a bank separated from an external ditch by a level berm. Access to the interior was generally provided by two or three entrances which consisted of simple gaps in the rampart. Evidence for internal features is largely dependent on excavation, and to date this has included large areas of sparsely scattered features including post and stakeholes, hearths and pits. Rectangular or square buildings are also evident; these are generally defined by between four and six postholes and are thought to have supported raised granaries. Hilltop enclosures are rare, with between 25 and 30 examples recorded nationally. A greater number may exist but these could have been developed into hillforts later in the Iron Age and could only be confirmed by detailed survey or excavation. The majority of known examples are located in two regions, on the chalk downland of Wessex and Sussex and in the Cotswolds. More scattered examples are found in north-east Oxfordshire and north Northamptonshire. This class of monument has not been recorded outside England. In view of the rarity of hilltop enclosures and their importance in understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities, all examples with surviving archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance.

Despite afforestation, the enclosure in Brandis Wood, 175m north of Longham survives well and provides information concerning the character of Iron Age occupation on the fringes of Dartmoor. This enclosure is one of a group of three similar sites lying within the Lyd valley.


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


This monument includes an oval ditched enclosure, known as a hilltop enclosure, situated on the northern side of the valley of the River Lyd within Brandis Wood. The monument survives as an oval enclosure which internally measures 42.9m long from north to south and 40.1m wide from east to west. The whole is enclosed by a substantial 5.1m wide bank standing up to 2m high. Beyond the bank is an external ditch which measures up to 5.2m wide and 1.6m deep. There is an apparent entrance on the southern side and the site as a whole slopes from east to west.

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: 30328

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Silvester, R J, Balkwill, C J, 'Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings' in Hill-Slope Enclosures In The Lyd Valley, West Devon, , Vol. 35, (1977), 81-4

End of official listing