Hilltop enclosure 330m south of Hardstone Cottage
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Sep-2019 at 10:47:08.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- West Devon (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SX 36833 78577
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
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.
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
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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX37NE501, (1996)
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