Boringdon Camp hillfort and associated remains


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Boringdon Camp hillfort and associated remains
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Oct-2019 at 04:20:27.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

South Hams (District Authority)
Shaugh Prior
South Hams (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SX 54346 59668

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 some damage to its ramparts, Boringdon Camp hillfort and associated remains is well-preserved. Its ramparts, surrounding ditch, outworks and interior will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the hillfort and the landscape in which it was built. The outer ramparts remain of importance in understanding the development of the site. Ring ditches usually represent the encircling ditch of a bowl barrow, the most numerous form of round barrow, which are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic 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. The close relationship between the hillfort and the ring ditch to its west suggests a continuity of use for this area over three millenia.


This monument includes an Iron Age hillfort with associated outworks and earlier ring ditch, all located on a flat hilltop with wide local views to the north. The hillfort survives as a sub-circular enclosure, defined by a rampart and outer ditch, with a level interior measuring 145m across. The rampart measures 8m wide, rising from the interior between 0.8m and 1.6m and falling to the outer ditch between 2.3m and 3.5m. The ditch is 8m wide and between 0.2m and 0.6m deep for most of the fort's circumference. It survives best on the south east side, where it is 1.5m deep. A slight upcast bank is visible on the west and north sides, between 8m and 10m wide and surviving up to 0.3m high. Several entrances cut the rampart, but that on the south side is the only original one. Here, the rampart turns inward to create an entrance passage 3m wide,later mutilated and blocked. Outside, the remains of a causeway across the ditch have been disturbed by a post-medieval quarry. A barbican protected the entrance. This survives as a trapezoidal earthwork whose interior measures 37.5m from north to south and tapers east to west from 42m wide to 23m at the south end. A rampart between 5m and 10m wide rises 0.4m from the interior and falls between 0.7m and 1m to an outer ditch 6m wide and 0.4m deep. The outer entrance to this barbican is 5m wide and a hollow way leads southward from it. Part of this hollow way is included in the scheduling. An outwork, visible as a change in the slope 8m wide and from 0.4m to 0.7m high, leaves the east side of the fort and curves around to the north west. A short bank connects this to the main rampart on the north side and measures 12m wide and 0.3m high. The ditch of a crescent shaped outwork on the north west side, visible from an aerial photograph, is 35m from the rampart and measures approximately 70m long and 8m wide. A ring ditch 20m to its south is 35m in diameter with a ditch 2m wide. This is likely to represent the levelled remains of a Late Neolithic or Bronze Age burial mound. A long earthwork bank to the north west of the fort is on a WNW to ESE alignment and measures 95m long and 12m wide. It survives up to 0.3m high. To the east of the fort, running NNE to SSW, is a hollow way 5m wide and between 0.5m and 2m deep with banks 5m wide and 0.5m high. This was a medieval road from Plympton to Shaugh Prior, abandoned between 1801 and 1840. A section of this road is included in the scheduling. The interpretation boards, and all fence posts and track surfacings are excluded from the schduling, 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:
Legacy System:


MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (2000)
MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (2000)
RCHME fieldwork, Probert, S, (1991)
RCHME fieldwork, Probert, S, (2000)


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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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