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Hilltop enclosure 380m east of Middle Soar

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Hilltop enclosure 380m east of Middle Soar

List entry Number: 1019533

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Malborough

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 09-May-2001

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 33781

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 damage to its ramparts due to cultivation, the hilltop enclosure 380m east of Middle Soar is a rare survival. Its surrounding bank, ditch and interior contain archaeological and environmental information relating to its use and to the contemporary landscape.

History

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

Details

This monument includes a circular prehistoric hilltop enclosure on a gentle south facing slope, with views down a short valley and along the coast to the east. It lies within a coaxial field system, a relict part of which is the subject of a separate scheduling. The enclosure measures 81m in diameter across its visible earthworks and is surrounded by an earthen bank 12m wide, surviving between 0.3m high on the north side and 0.6m high on the south. A buried ditch up to 5m wide and visible on aerial photographs surrounds the bank, surviving as an earthwork up to 0.15m deep on the west side. A later hedgebank crosses the eastern edge of the site.

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.

Selected Sources

Other
MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (2000)
RAF 10,000' survey, RAF, (1946)

National Grid Reference: SX 71530 37015

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1019533 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2017 at 08:56:59.

End of official listing