Hilltop enclosure 330m south of Hardstone Cottage

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020070

Date first listed: 03-May-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Mar-2002

Map

Ordnance survey map of Hilltop enclosure 330m south of Hardstone Cottage
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Dunterton

National Grid Reference: SX 36833 78577

Summary

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 reduction in the height of its ramparts through cultivation, the hilltop enclosure 320m south of Hardstone Cottage survives comparatively well and will contain both archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and its surrounding landscape.

History

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

Details

This monument includes a hilltop enclosure situated on an upland ridge overlooking the valley of the River Tamar. Although it does not occupy the very summit of the hill, it does have commanding views across the valley and surrounding landscape. The monument survives as an oval enclosure measuring 56.4m long internally north to south by 47.2m wide east to west. It is defined by an outer bank which measures up to 13.3m wide and 0.5m high. This rampart bank is best preserved to the north. The whole enclosure slopes to the south and west. Beyond the rampart bank is an outer ditch which measures up to 10m wide and 0.2m deep. The ditch is discernible on all sides but slightly less clear to the west. the original entrances are not clearly defined but thought to lie on the southern side.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 34279

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX37NE501, (1996)

End of official listing