Castle Close


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020037

Date first listed: 09-Apr-1964

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Feb-2001


Ordnance survey map of Castle Close
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: Mid Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Washfield

National Grid Reference: SS 93719 18127


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 reduction in the heights of the ramparts and slight disturbance to the interior through cultivation, Castle Close hillfort survives well and will contain archaeological information relating to its construction and use as well as environmental evidence concerning the local area at the time of the hillfort's occupation.


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


This monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated on a prominent hill overlooking the valleys of two separate tributaries to the River Lowman with commanding and widespread views in all directions across the surrounding countryside. The monument survives as a sub-circular enclosure defined by a single rampart, integrated into the existing field pattern and surrounded by an outer ditch. The enclosed area measures approximately 170m in diameter and is surrounded by a rampart which measures up to 2.4m high externally and 1.1m high internally, being slightly higher to the north. The rampart shows signs of having been revetted with stone walling in several places to effect repairs. Two gateways have been cut through the rampart to facilitate access, one on the north east side and a second to the south. The original entrance lies on the western side where two banks define an inturned entrance, which is most impressive on the northern side, measuring up to 1.2m high. The entrance itself has been blocked. The surrounding ditch is basically preserved as a buried feature up to 5m wide and mainly observed as a flat area surrounding the rampart. The field boundaries which form the rampart are included within the scheduling. The stock proof fencing around the rampart, and the gateposts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath 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: 34257

Legacy System: RSM


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS91NW3, (1998)

End of official listing