Stanborough Camp Iron Age hillfort and bowl barrow


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019314

Date first listed: 10-Aug-1923

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Feb-2001


Ordnance survey map of Stanborough Camp Iron Age hillfort and bowl barrow
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Halwell and Moreleigh

National Grid Reference: SX 77275 51666


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.

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400 to 1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. Despite slight damage to its ramparts, Stanborough Camp Iron Age hillfort survives well. Its ramparts, surrounding ditch and interior contain archaeological and environmental information relating to this strategic location and the landscape in which it functioned. Despite the reduction of its mound, the bowl barrow within the fort retains information relating to its construction and use.


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


This monument includes a slight univallate hillfort of sub-circular plan and an earlier bowl barrow on a level hilltop with wide local views to the south and west. The ramparts are covered with large mature beech trees, which make the site a landmark for many miles around. The fort is roughly oval, enclosing about two acres and has maximum dimensions across the visible earthworks of 145m from east to west by 130m from north to south. The rampart is 6m wide, rising between 1.5m and 2m from the interior and falling about 3m to the ditch. The ditch varies between 8m wide on the south side and 12m on the north and is an average of 1.5m deep. Traces of a counterscarp bank in the garden on the west side are 7m wide and 0.7m high. The ground falls away steeply to the west, where an entrance climbs abruptly up into the fort, with the rampart falling in height to about 1m on either side. On the east side, a later narrow entrance has been blocked with a stone faced bank. These are both later entrances however, the original entrance being on the south side, where a causeway crosses the ditch. The ramparts vary considerably in their profile and areas of rebuilding are evident in places, especially on the south and east sides. A stretch of bank in the south east quadrant has been rebuilt about 2m inside the original outer face. The fort's interior is virtually level. There is a possibility that this hillfort represents the site of the Anglo-Saxon burh of Healghwille. It is known to have been the meeting place of the hundred of Stanborough. A large bowl barrow with a central stone chamber was enclosed by the later hillfort and remains of it survive to the south east of the hillfort's centre. The barrow appears as a low mound 17m in diameter and up to 0.1m high. It has an encircling quarry ditch about 3m wide which is 0.1m deep on the south side, but is not visible to the north. The 20th century agricultural buildings, associated fences and track surfaces occupying the site are excluded from the scheduling, although the beneath all 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: 33746

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Wall, J, The Victoria History of the County, (1906), 605-7
Wall, J, The Victoria History of the County, (1906), 605-7
Slater, T, 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in Controlling the South Hams: The Anglo Saxon Burh at Halwell, , Vol. 123, (1991), 57-58

End of official listing