Woodbury Camp


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019783

Date first listed: 12-Mar-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 20-Jul-2001


Ordnance survey map of Woodbury Camp
© 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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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Stoke Fleming

National Grid Reference: SX 84265 51052


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.

Despite damage to its ramparts, the Iron Age hillfort known as Woodbury Camp survives well. Its ramparts, hornwork, surrounding ditch and interior contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the hillfort and the landscape in which it was built. The intermittent spring within the ramparts may preserve waterlogged remains.


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


This monument includes a slight univallate hillfort, located on the south face of a hilltop overlooking a deep valley west of Dartmouth. It commands a high and prominent location with extensive local views. The monument survives as an oval enclosure defined by a rampart. It is aligned from east to west, its interior measuring 160m long by 110m wide, cut into two unequal parts by a hedgebank which passes from north west to south east. Two faint earthwork terraces 3m wide and up to 0.3m high are visible on the west side of the interior. On the eastern side of the interior, a natural hollow 40m wide contains an intermittent spring. The ramparts are best preserved on the north side, where the bank is 11m wide, rising up to 1.8m from the interior and falling 3.5m to an outer ditch 14m wide with a slight counterscarp bank 4m wide by 0.2m high. The other ramparts have been ploughed regularly since at least 1945, that on the west end surviving between 15m and 22m wide, rising up to 0.7m from the interior and falling 1.6m to the ditch. This ditch is 7m wide by 0.8m deep, with a counterscarp bank 13m wide by up to 0.3m high. The southern and eastern ramparts are less well preserved, with the bank visible as a change in the slope from 8m to 13m wide and up to 1.5m high. The position of the outer ditch is marked by a terrace 8m wide. Its outer edge slopes away, for a further 11m, falling 0.6m to the natural slope. Two entrances are visible. On the south side, a reduction in rampart height to 0.4m coincides with a faint hornwork projecting from the rampart to the east. This is 10m wide by up to 0.3m high and projects 30m from the rampart. A reduction in rampart height on the south west side of the hillfort suggests a later entrance, cut through the earthworks. All fence posts and a concrete water cistern which is built into the western end of the north rampart are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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: 33769

Legacy System: RSM


RCHM fieldwork by P Pattison, Pattison, P, (1990)

End of official listing