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HER Number:MDV1853
Name:Hembury Hillfort

Summary

The multivallate earthworks now visible on the promontory of Hembury are basically those of an Iron Age hillfort. However, these only represent part of the site's complex history. Evidence for Mesolithic activity has been found and in the southern end was 'fortified' with string of causewayed ditches. The fort was also occupied by the Roman army during their initial conquest of the south-west in the first century AD.

Location

Grid Reference:ST 112 031
Map Sheet:ST10SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAwliscombe
Civil ParishPayhembury
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishAWLISCOMBE
Ecclesiastical ParishPAYHEMBURY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 188808
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: ST10SW/4
  • Old SAM County Ref: 34
  • Old SAM Ref: 29660
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: ST10SW4
  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum Accession Number: EX 122/1930 1-82
  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum Accession Number: EX 129/1931
  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum Accession Number: EX 129/1932
  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum Accession Number: EX 139/1935
  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum Accession Number: EX 39/1936

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HILLFORT (Early Neolithic to Roman - 4000 BC to 409 AD (Between))

Full description

Cambridge University, CUC/AL, 130-132 (Aerial Photograph). SDV135855.


Todd, M., Hembury: Roman Military Structures (Plan - measured). SDV358710.


Historic England, 12/10/2015, Hembury Fort, East Devon (Correspondence). SDV359409.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted, subject to conditions, in respect of proposed works at the above scheduled monument concerning new signage posts to accompany a new access route.


English Heritage, 13/02/2015, Hembury Fort, Payhembury, Devon (Correspondence). SDV357869.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted, subject to conditions, for a geophysical survey of Hembury Fort. The permission shall commence on 16 February 2015 and shall cease to have effect on 15 May 2015.


Woollcombe, H., 1839 - 1850, Woollcombe Manuscript, 24-25 (Un-published). SDV16214.


Hutchinson, P. O., 1848 - 1894, Diaries (Un-published). SDV339321.

Other details: Entries in 1859 and 1874 diaries.


Hutchinson, P. O., 1849, Untitled Source, 137-146 (Article in Serial). SDV135831.


Hutchinson, P. O., 1862, On the Hill Fortresses, Tumuli, and some other Antiquities of Eastern Devon, 60-61 (Article in Serial). SDV338169.

An iron figure of Mars (or Lar) was found in 1801 (see Monument ID 1858), now lost. Other details: Plate 5.


Kirwan, R., 1871, The Prehistoric Archaeology of East Devon, 648 (Article in Serial). SDV135842.

Other details: Part 2.


Clifford, W., 1878, On the Course of a Roman Military Road through Somersetshire, 26 (Article in Serial). SDV135861.

Other details: Part II.


Ordnance Survey, 1880 - 1899, First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

'Hembury Fort' shown on 19th century map as a large oval earthwork.


Hutchinson, P. O., 1882, The Site of Moridunum, 521 (Article in Serial). SDV135820.


Wall, J. C., 1906, Ancient Earthworks, 585-587 (Article in Monograph). SDV341465.

Hembury Fort encloses approximately 8 acres, and has a double rampart, tripled on the north, west, and south, and quadrupled at the northwest corner. Roman coins found within it. Other details: Plan.


Howarth, H., 1913, Untitled Source, 505-507 (Article in Serial). SDV135830.

Other details: Plan.


Anonymous, 1919, Hembury Fort, 35-37 (Article in Serial). SDV135863.

Other details: Part I.


Reichel, O. J., 1928 - 1938, The Hundred of Hemyock in Early Times, 36, 42 (Article in Monograph). SDV36469.

Hembury Fort, previously called Cockenhayes or Trilbehayes, formed part of a small estate called Otria in Domesday. It was held by Ralf de Pomaria. Before the conquest it was held by Semar. Later it was given to Taunton Priory. Some early descents given.


Macalpine Woods, G., 1929, A Note on Hembury Fort, 4 (Article in Serial). SDV135815.

Hembury Fort. Length 361 meters, width 100 meters, area 3.25 hectares, altitude 268 meters. Multivallate hillfort with Mesolithic, Neolithic, Iron Age, and Roman occupation, of an "elongated egg-shape". It has complex entrances on the west side, where the rampart ends are linked by a bank screening the ditch ends, the northeast, flanked by a circular mound, and the south. Other details: Plan.


Liddell, D. M., 1930, A Report on the Excavations at Hembury Fort, Devon, 1930, 40-63 (Article in Serial). SDV135816.


Sheldon, G., 1930, Hembury Fort and the Primitive Road System of East Devon, 64-69 (Article in Serial). SDV135817.


Wykes, H., 1930-1931, Air View from South (Aerial Photograph). SDV135857.


Hawkes, C., 1931, Hillforts, 80, 84, 86, 95 (Article in Serial). SDV135844.


Liddell, D. M., 1931, Report of the Excavations at Hembury Fort, 90-120 (Article in Serial). SDV338993.

Detailed report of the second season of excavation at Hembury Fort in 1931. The palisade trenches, post holes, pits and hearths were exposed. Extensive amounts of pottery and flint were recovered and are illustrated. Other details: Figs 1-5, Plates I-XXXII and Plate A.


Piggott, S., 1931, The Neolithic Pottery of the British Isles, 67-158 (Article in Serial). SDV135840.


Liddell, D. M., 1932, Report of the Excavations at Hembury Fort, 162-190 (Article in Serial). SDV338994.


Liddell, D. M., 1932, The Palisade at Hembury Fort, 475-7 (Article in Serial). SDV135845.


Radford, C. + Radford, R., 1935, Fourteenth Report on Ancient Monuments, 76 (Article in Serial). SDV135854.

Excavations at Hembury Fort were suspended during 1933 and were reopened during the autumn of 1934 and were concluded in 1935.


Anonymous, 1935, Interim Report, 131 (Article in Serial). SDV135832.


Anonymous, 1935, Proceedings at the 74th annual meeting, 17-18 (Article in Serial). SDV135853.


Liddell, D. M., 1935, Report on the Excavations at Hembury Fort, 134-175 (Article in Serial). SDV338838.

Hembury Fort was excavated from 1930 to 1935. Three main phases of occupation were suggested: Neolithic, Iron Age "B" and "Belgic" (ie. circa 50 AD). The 1934 and 1935 seasons excavated parts of the entrances, the vallum and dwellings. The Neolithic Period at about 1800 BC was represented by the fortification of the southern half of Hembury Fort with ditches and causeways. Evidence of occupation in the form of cooking holes and hearths was exposed and a circular hut was excavated. The Neolithic vallum was probably demolished by the Iron Age earthwork. After a long period of abandonment the main fortifications of Hembury Fort were erected in the Iron Age in the 2nd century BC. The later Iron Age in the 1st century AD was represented by two transverse banks and ditches of inferior construction. Other details: Figs 1-15, Plates XXII-XL.


Holleyman, G. A., 1935, Untitled Source, 443 (Article in Serial). SDV135846.


Anonymous, 1936, Hembury Fort, 98 (Article in Serial). SDV135847.


Anonymous, 1936, Untitled Source, 89 (Article in Serial). SDV135833.


Rogers, E. H., 1938 - 1942, Some Phases in Devon Prehistory, 172 (Article in Serial). SDV135858.


Wheeler, R. E. M., 1939, Iron Age Camps in France and Britain, 74, 76 (Article in Serial). SDV135848.


Richardson, K. M., 1940, Excavations at Poundbury, Dorchester, Dorset, 1939, 445 (Article in Serial). SDV135838.


Royal Air Force, 1947, CPE/ UK 1974, 2452 (Aerial Photograph). SDV110669.


Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1974, RAF/CPE/UK/1974 FS 2452-2453 11-APR-1947 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356127.

Earthwork ramparts and ditches were visible.


Cambridge University, 1950, CUC/FL, 75-78 (Aerial Photograph). SDV135873.


Adams, E. A. + Dewey, H., 1950, Spindle Whorls Found in Devonshire, 325 (Article in Serial). SDV147932.

Six spindle whorls have been found at Hembury. All are of sandstone, one is unperforated.


Anonymous, 1950, Untitled Source, 25 (Article in Serial). SDV135864.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1951 - 1985, ST10SW4 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV135826.

Hembury hillfort is situated on a spur. The internal area is divided by two transverse banks and ditches of later construction than the main works. Roman remains have been found within the hillfort.The hillfort has suffered very few and minor mutilations. Other details: Photographs and Plans.


Fox, A., 1952, Untitled Source, 1-22 (Article in Serial). SDV135841.

Other details: Figure.


Fox, A., 1957, Hembury Hillfort, 144-147 (Article in Serial). SDV135843.


Fox, A., 1964, South West England: 3,500BC-AD600, 29-32, 35, 120-122, 129, 145, 233, 241. (Monograph). SDV135818.


Donn, B., 1965, A Map of the County of Devon, 1765 (Reprint) (Monograph). SDV336413.

Shown on map of Devon.


Cambridge University, 1966, CUC/ANK, 80-86 (Aerial Photograph). SDV135874.


Peacock, D. P. S., 1969, A Contribution to the Study of Glastonbury Ware form South-Western Britain, 47, 51, 58 (Article in Serial). SDV135837.


Peacock, D. P. S., 1969, Neolithic Pottery Production in Cornwall, 145-8 (Article in Serial). SDV135849.


Grinsell, L. V., 1970, Discovering Regional Archaeology: South Western England, 26 (Monograph). SDV304192.


Smith, I. F., 1971, Causewayed Enclosures, 89-112 (Article in Monograph). SDV135865.

Other details: Figure 15.


Cambridge University, 1973, CUC/BNY, 78-80 (Aerial Photograph). SDV135875.


Cambridge University, 1974, CUC/RC, 19-20, 64-5, (Aerial Photograph). SDV135876.

Other details: 8-am, -ah.


Wilson, D. R., 1975, Causewayed Camps and Interrupted Ditch Systems, 178, 183 (Article in Serial). SDV135850.

Other details: Figure.


Dennell, R. W., 1976, Prehistoric Crop Cultivation: A Reconsideration, 14, 16 (Article in Serial). SDV135839.


Palmer, R., 1976, Untitled Source, 161-186 (Article in Serial). SDV135835.


Whittle, A., 1977, Untitled Source, 338, 344 (Article in Serial). SDV135836.


Cambridge University, 1980, CUC/CMD, 25-29 (Aerial Photograph). SDV135877.


Todd, M., 1981, Excavations at Hembury (Devon), 1980 (Article in Serial). SDV354960.

Excavations in 1980 by Todd showed that the inner cross-bank and ditch were modern, possibly connected with the 18th century use of the fort as a fair. A small area immediately inside the eastern Iron Age rampart produced remains of part of a well-built rectangular timber structure which had been partly excavated by Liddell.


Department of Environment, 1981, Hembury Fort (Schedule Document). SDV345739.

Hembury Fort is an Iron Age contour fort overlying a Neolithic Causeway camp. The visible remains consist of a double line of ramparts and ditches around the tip of a spur with a third line on the west side and across the neck which is incomplete. There are embanked and inturned entrances on the west and north-east. In the Late Iron Age the fort was divided in half by two small ramparts with an entrance facing south. The interior is deeply bracken covered. Excavated by D M Liddell between 1930-1935. Other details: Monument 34.


Todd, M., 1982, Excavations at Hembury (Devon) in 1982. Interim Report (Report - Interim). SDV135860.

Further excavation in 1982 revealed further evidence for Neolithic-Roman occupation. Site resurveyed by the Ordnance Survey in July 1982. Copy of drawing in parish file. Excavations in April 1982 on the east side of the inner rampart provided a provisional sequence for the defences of the hillfort. Other details: Plan.


Quinnell, N. V., 1982, Hembury (Plan - measured). SDV348552.


Quinnell + Attrill, 1982, Survey Drawing (Plan - measured). SDV135856.


Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/Z, 5-7 (Aerial Photograph). SDV135869.


Todd, M., 1984, Excavations at Hembury (Devon) 1980-3; A Summary Report, 251-268 (Article in Serial). SDV135872.

Research excavation undertaken to investigate the character of the Neolithic occupation outside the area of the causewayed enclosure, the sequence of defensive building of the Iron Age fort and evidence of occupation within its interior, and the nature of the Roman occupation of the site.
A number of pits and shallow hollows of Neolithic date were found within the excavated area but the most striking feature was a length of ditch running north-south across the flat ground in the centre of the ridge. The lack of finds and generally clean nature of the ditch fill suggest that it was short-lived. It is notable that the total yield of Neolithic pottery and flint objects from the excavated area was less than that found during the 1930s excavations over a smaller area. This together with the short-lived nature of the ditch conveys the impression that these hollows fulfilled specialised functions. Of the smaller Neolithic features the mots notable was a group of intersecting pits (F41 and F90). F90 was a neat, round bowl-shaped pit that seemed specifically dug for a container of some kind. Two shallow pits were subsequently cut against the side of the pit and the heterogeneous filling indicated repeated use. Many small fragments of Neolithic pottery were recovered from their topmost fill.
In order to study the Iron Age defences a section was dug across the inner rampart on the eastern side. This showed that the first phase of the defences took the form of a box rampart. A dump rampart was subsequently erected over the remains of the earlier work. A quantity of pottery was recovered from this bank, mostly non-descript but including two sherds of decorated Glastonbury ware. These suggest a date in the first or second century BC. Part of a probable roundhouse was identified to the rear of the rampart and part of a smaller circular building lay to the west but generally features and material of the later first millennium BC was conspicuous by its absence. However, quantities of iron slag and ironstone suggest that this part of the site was used for metalworking. The absence of pottery that could be reliably dated to the late Pre-Roman Iron Age suggests that the hillfort was not occupied at the time of the Roman conquest.
Two large Roman buildings were identified, each laid out around a central courtyard (Buildings 2 and 3). The open plan of the west range of Building 2 and the fact that many of the rooms in the other ranges were small suggests that this was not a domestic building, a fact borne out by finds of iron slag and pieces of a tuyere. This suggests the building was a fabrica. The second courtyard building (Building 3) lay to the west in the centre of the hillfort. Only part of its north and east sides were examined but the most notable features were the wide and deep foundation trenches and the carefully laid metalled surface in the east range. Trodden into the surface were many hobnails and fragments of high quality glass. Two denarii were also found. Two foundation trenches of another Roman buildings (Building 4), were found to the south-west of the fabrica (the corner of Building 1 was uncovered during the 1930s exavations). Evidence indicates that when the Roman army left the hillfort their buildings were deliberately dismantled.


Todd, M., 1984, Hembury (Devon): Roman Troops in a Hillfort, 171-4 (Article in Serial). SDV135868.


Snell, R., 1986, Green Lanes in Devon Project (Un-published). SDV8442.


Robinson, R., 1986, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1986 (Un-published). SDV345664.


Berridge, P. J., 1986, Mesolithic Evidence from Hembury, 163-166, Fig. 1 (Article in Serial). SDV135879.

Hembury was the subject of a major series of excavations in the 1930s which revealed extensive Neolithic occupation underlying the dramatic Iron Age hillfort. Later excavation revealed Roman military occupation. Evidence of Mesolithic activity was provided by residual microliths and microburins from the excavations of the southern end of the hilltop.
Eleven microliths are recorded, ten of flint and three of greensand chert together with six microburins, five of flint and one of greensand chert. Of the microliths, four are of obliquely blunted form, there is one scalene triangle, three curved backs and one straight back. Four are too fragmentary for classification. Fifteen of these artefacts come from the southern end of the hilltop from Liddell's cutting XI. Three come from cutting X, near the west entrance of the hillfort, the other is unprovenanced. Both earlier and later forms are represented. Most of the pieces are clearly residual as they come from Meolithic or later deposits. Only one may come from an original context - a flint microlith from an old turf layer sealed under an ia rampart in cutting X.


Griffith, F. M., 1988, Devon's Past. An Aerial View, 24 (Monograph). SDV64198.


Devon Archaeological Society, 1989, Hembury (Leaflet). SDV135893.

Hembury is described as one of the finest prehistoric hilltop strongholds in south-west Britain. The earthworks visible today are mainly those of an Iron Age hillfort but these represent but part of the site's complex history.
Neolithic settlers occupied the site from about 3000-2500BC. A string of causewayed ditches was dug across the southern end of the promontory cutting of an area of about 2 acres. Within the enclosed area abundant evidence for occupation was recovered.
The hillfort was probably initially constructed about the middle of the first millennium BC but the general lack of finds associated with the fort makes precise chronology difficult. The first phase of the defences tool the form of a box rampart revetted in timber to front and rear and which was about 6.0 metres wide. This was later replaced by a higher and slightly wider dump rampart and two large ditches with three ditches across the neck of the promontory. There were entrances on the east and west sides with large timber gateways. Little is known, however, of the interior occupation of the hillfort. Part of a roundhouse was excavated close to the eastern rampart but no other Iron Age buildings were found in this area. No storage pits have been found. Finds of pottery and other artefacts has not been abundant suggesting that perhaps occupation was not prolonged. The common pottery forms found though were plain, upright jars and bowls decorated with curvilinear and geometric designs of Glastonbury ware type. The hillfort appears to have been abandoned by the late first century BC.
In the mid first century AD the Roman army occupied the northern end of the hillfort during their conquest of the south-west peninsula and several substantial timber buildings were erected.


Mercer, R., 1989, The Earliest Defences in Western Europe. Part 1: Warfare in the Neolithic, 21-22 (Article in Serial). SDV135882.


Saunders, A. D., 1991, Exploring England's Heritage: Devon and Cornwall, 9-10 (Monograph). SDV135883.


Grant, N., 1995, The Occupation of Hillforts in Devon during the Late Roman and Post Roman Periods, 103 (Article in Serial). SDV7954.

Hembury Castle is a multivallate hillfort covering 3 hectares. The site was occupied from circa 4000 BC although the fort itself is Iron Age.


Fox, A., 1996, Prehistoric Hillforts in Devon, 36 (Monograph). SDV7958.


Horner, B., 1997, DAP/ABX, 11 (Aerial Photograph). SDV135887.


Salvatore, J. P., 1998, Hembury Fort (Un-published). SDV135890.

A small multivallate Iron Age hillfort on a narrow south facing promontory at the end of a 240 meter high ridge protruding from the Blackdown Hills chosen for its natural defensive qualities. The visible features of the hillfort represent the final, probably 1st century BC defences of a site which was first defended in the Iron Age in the middle of the first millennium BC. The first phase of defences took the form of a box rampart revetted in timber and the second and main phase saw a triple line of defences. The inner face of the innermost rampart varies in height between 1 meter and 2.5 meters. Its outer face forms a pure glacis bank for 120 meters along the southeast side of the monument, elsewhere there is a berm 2 meters to 5 meters wide prior to a steep-sided bank which is on average between 16.5 meters and 21.5 meters deep on the slope where it forms, at its base, the inner face of the innermost ditch. This ditch varies in width between 2.5 meters and 4.2 meters. The inner ditch is fronted by a further rampart of glacis type, the average depth on the slope of which is 17.5 meters. The base of this rampart forms the inner face of the outer ditch which is on average 5.5 meters wide the outer ditch is fronted by a low counterscarp bank. At the north end an additional rampart and a 5 meter wide ditch extending for some 80 meters were added although they were never completed across the entire exposed neck of ground. The two entrance ways were in-turned and approached by embanked causeways no more than a maximum of 6 meters wide across the ditch ends. Excavations have revealed the presence of post holes representing the positions of timber revetments and palisades indicating well-defended entries.


Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1998, Hembury Fort (Schedule Document). SDV340163.

The monument includes Hembury Fort, a small multivallate hillfort of Iron Age date which occupies the site of an earlier Neolithic causewayed enclosure. The location of the hillfort, on a narrow south facing promontory at the end of a 240 metre high ridge protruding from the Blackdown Hills, was almost certainly chosen for its natural defensive qualities and its extensive views over the Otter River valley and the surrounding countryside. The concentric multiple ditch and rampart defensive circuit complemented the steep hill slopes and enclosed a long, pear-shaped interior area of about 3.5 hectares. The only flat approach to the hillfort was from the north, the two inturned entrances of the hillfort were however located away from this on the west and east sides. The site was later occupied by the Roman army. Excavations at the site have revealed the presence of a series of elongated ditches interrupted by causeways which cut off an area of about 0.8 hectares at the southern end of the ridge which corresponds to the southern tip of the later hillfort. Abundant occupation evidence recovered from the excavations has demonstrated that this occupation was of the Neolithic period with an end date in the third millennium BC, probably before 2500 BC. The traditional interpretation of the site at this period is that of a causewayed enclosure. The visible features of the later hillfort represent the final, probably first century BC defences, of a site which was first defended in the Iron Age in the middle of the first millennium BC. Excavations have shown that the first phase of defences took the form of a box rampart revetted in timber. The second and main phase saw the replacement of the box rampart with a triple line of defences comprising ramparts, ditches, and a counterscarp bank which has been artificially straightened on the east side where it forms a parish boundary. At the vulnerable northern end an additional rampart and a 5 metre wide ditch extending for some 80 metres were added although they were never completed across the entire exposed neck of ground. The hillfort had dual entrance ways, one to the north east and one to the west. Both entrance ways were inturned and approached by embanked causeways no more than a maximum of 6 metres wide across the ditch ends. Excavations have revealed the presence of post holes representing the positions of timber revetments and palisades indicating that these entrances were well defended. The relatively flat interior of the hillfort is known to have supported at least one round house of 7 metres in diameter which was located near the eastern rampart. Pottery forms recovered in excavation, including upright jars and bowls decorated with curvilinear and geometric designs (Glastonbury Ware), confirmed the Iron Age occupation of the site. The Iron Age occupation of the hillfort may have ended prior to the erection in the northern part of the monument's interior of a number of Roman timber buildings which have been suggested to represent the workshops and accommodation for a unit of the Roman army in residence during the middle of the first century AD. This unit was perhaps connected with the known Roman iron-working sites in the nearby Blackdown Hills whilst the Roman legionary fortress at Exeter, first occupied at about the same time, lay only 25 kilometres to the south west. The Roman occupation saw the rebuilding of the western gateway but two transverse banks and ditches which serve to cut off the northern two thirds of the interior of the monument, traditionally interpreted as Roman works, have been demonstrated to be Post-Medieval. All fencing and fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included. Hembury Fort survives in exceptionally good condition with a well defined circuit of defences surrounding the entire monument. In addition to its Iron Age usage, the monument has produced extensive evidence for its occupation as a causewayed enclosure, which is a rare type of monument used for settlement, defence or ceremonial purposes in the Neolithic period and as a base for a unit of the Roman army operating in the middle of the 1st century AD. The monument will therefore provide valuable archaeological information relating to the lives, economy, and landscape of the Neolithic and Iron Age peoples who utilised or inhabited the site as well as information relating to the Roman military occupation of the South West. Other details: Monument 29660. Map object based on this Source.


Quinnell, H., 1998, Later Prehistoric Pottery Survey (Report - Survey). SDV336212.

Circa 50 sherds of Early Iron Age, Middle/Late Iron Age, Late Iron Age, pot recovered during excavation. Other pottery earlier Neolithic; also found non-ceramic iron object, slag and stone whorl. Now in Exeter museum.


Environment Agency, 1998-2014, LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution), LIDAR ST1102-ST1103 Environment Agency DTM 01-JAN-1998 to 30-SEP-2014 (Cartographic). SDV359177.

Earthwork ramparts and ditches were visible.


Todd, M., 2002, The Cross-Dykes at Hembury, 207-210 (Article in Serial). SDV135894.

Excavation has shown that the cross dykes within Hembury hillfort are of Post Medieval date. The two banks and ditches define a rectangle of circa 2.7 hectares with access provided by the two Iron Age entrances. A fair was held at Hembury hillfort on St Andrew's Day according to a document held at St Andrew's church in Broadhembury and may account for this feature. Alternatively the feature may represent part of a minor Civil War defence.


Brigers, J. L., 2006, The Former Estate Garages, Broadhembury, 1 (Report - Watching Brief). SDV340108.


Todd, M., 2007, Roman Military Occupation at Hembury (Devon), 107-123 (Article in Serial). SDV343950.

Other details: Photocopy of abstract in parish file.


English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009: South West, 95 (Report - non-specific). SDV342694.

Condition generally unsatisfactory and declining, with major localised problems. Principal vulnerability from plant growth.


National Monuments Record, 2010, 188808 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV345738.

The earthwork remains of an Iron Age multivallate hillfort overlying the remains of a Neolithic causewayed enclosure. Excavations were undertaken between 1930 and 1935 by Dorothy Liddell, and again between 1980 and 1983 by Malcolm Todd. The hillfort itself appears to date primarily to the later Iron Age. Liddell's excavations concentrated on the western and north-eastern entrances and their associated gate structures. Excavations by Todd re-appraised some of her work, as well as looking at areas in the interior. Todd also identified structures and finds indicating a short-lived Roman military presence within the hillfort in the mid to late 1st century AD. Two parallel earthworks cross the hillfort interior west-east, close to the western entrance. Their construction appears to postdate the hillfort ramparts, although unequivocal dating evidence for their construction is lacking. According to Todd, they belong to "the Late Iron Age or later". The site was included in the Royal Commission's Industry and Enclosure in the Neolithic. A brief site visit was undertaken but as all the extant earthworks are Iron Age or later, no further survey work was undertaken.


English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010: South West, 86 (Report - non-specific). SDV344777.


Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

'Hembury Hillfort' shown on modern mapping. Map object based on this Source.


English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West, 88 (Report - non-specific). SDV355280.

Condition generally unsatisfactory and declining, with major localised problems. Principal vulnerability from plant growth.


Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2016-2017, The Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV359463.

The ramparts, ditches and internal banks within the enclosed area of the Iron Age hillfort were clearly visible as earthworks on aerial photographs of 1947 and digital images derived from lidar data captured between 1998 and 2014. A low circular mound circa 14 metres in diameter was also noted circa 50 metres from the southern tip of the enclosed area. The collapsed galleries of whetstone mines of probable 18th to early 20th century date were also noted on the lower slopes of the south-west facing ramparts, and have been recorded separately.


Devon County Council, 2017, Hembury Hill Fort, Awliscombe (Ground Photograph). SDV360054.

Ground photographs taken during ongoing clearance works at Hembury Hillfort.


Todd, M., 25/04/1982, Hembury. Sequence of the Iron Age Defences (Un-published). SDV358682.


Department of Environment, 31/07/1986, Proposed Works at Hembury Hill Fort, Devon (Correspondence). SDV135881.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for restitution of excavated areas and infilling of unauthorised holes.


Eastwood, C., Feb 1984, Hembury Hillfort (Worksheet). SDV359099.

Extract from Woollacombe Manuscript.
Site visits in 1833 and 1837. Reference to finds of Roman coins and other remains. Double rampart on all sides except the western side which has a triple bank. The principle entrances are on the north-east and south-west sides. Three interior ramparts towards the south end. Also spoil heaps at the south end (attributed to Roman occupation). Reference to illustration in Archaeologia Vol 14.


Eastwood, C., June 1986, Hembury Fort (Worksheet). SDV359100.

Extract from P.O. Hutchinson's diary for 24th August 1874. Reference to mound in middle of southern bank which runs across interior of fort. Dimensions given. Possible barrow outside fort to north.


Selwyn College, Cambridge, Pre Aug 1972, Hembury Fort, Looking South (Aerial Photograph). SDV359096.


Todd, M., Sept 1981, Hembury (Devon). Excavation in 1981 (Report - Interim). SDV135828.

Further excavations in 1981 produced rectilinear Roman buildings. Prehistoric structures were also identified.


Hawkings, A. S., Unknown, Hembury Fort (Worksheet). SDV359102.

A classic excavation of this site from 1930-35 revealed that the first occupants were Neolithic settlers who dug a rampart with ditch containing causeways across the long axis of the hill, probably well before 3000BC. They were followed by the Iron Age builders of the multivallate hillfort with closely set ramparts and entrances on the west and north-east. Taken from Grinsell's 'Discovering Regional Archaeology'.


Unknown, Unknown, Hembury. Excavations 1980-1982 (Cartographic). SDV359097.

Sources / Further Reading

  • Article in Serial: Palmer, R.. 1976. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 42. Unknown. 161-186.
  • Article in Serial: Dennell, R. W.. 1976. Prehistoric Crop Cultivation: A Reconsideration. Antiquaries Journal. 56. Unknown. 14, 16.
  • Article in Serial: Holleyman, G. A.. 1935. Antiquity. 9. Unknown. 443.
  • Article in Serial: Anonymous. 1950. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 95. Unknown. 25.
  • Article in Serial: Todd, M.. 1984. Excavations at Hembury (Devon) 1980-3; A Summary Report. Antiquaries Journal. 64. Photocopy + Digital. 251-268.
  • Article in Serial: Berridge, P. J.. 1986. Mesolithic Evidence from Hembury. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 44. Paperback Volume. 163-166, Fig. 1.
  • Aerial Photograph: Horner, B.. 1997. DAP/ABX. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 11.
  • Article in Serial: Liddell, D. M.. 1932. Report of the Excavations at Hembury Fort. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Exploration Society. 1 Part 4. Paperback Volume. 162-190.
  • Article in Serial: Whittle, A.. 1977. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 43. Unknown. 338, 344.
  • Article in Serial: Anonymous. 1936. Hembury Fort. Antiquity. 10. Unknown. 98.
  • Article in Serial: Radford, C. + Radford, R.. 1935. Fourteenth Report on Ancient Monuments. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 67. A5 Hardback. 76.
  • Report - Survey: Quinnell, H.. 1998. Later Prehistoric Pottery Survey. Later Prehistoric Pottery Survey. A4 Spiral Bound.
  • Article in Serial: Liddell, D. M.. 1935. Report on the Excavations at Hembury Fort. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Exploration Society. II: Part 3. A5 Paperback. 134-175.
  • Article in Monograph: Wall, J. C.. 1906. Ancient Earthworks. Victoria History of the County of Devon. Hardback Volume. 585-587.
  • National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. 188808. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
  • Plan - measured: Quinnell + Attrill. 1982. Survey Drawing. 1:1250. Unknown.
  • Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1973. CUC/BNY. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 78-80.
  • Article in Serial: Mercer, R.. 1989. The Earliest Defences in Western Europe. Part 1: Warfare in the Neolithic. Fortress. 2. Photocopy + Digital. 21-22.
  • Un-published: Salvatore, J. P.. 1998. Hembury Fort. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Unknown.
  • Report - Watching Brief: Brigers, J. L.. 2006. The Former Estate Garages, Broadhembury. A4 Stapled + Digital. 1.
  • Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2009. Heritage at Risk Register 2009: South West. English Heritage Report. A4 Bound +Digital. 95.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
  • Schedule Document: Department of Environment. 1981. Hembury Fort. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
  • Monograph: Fox, A.. 1964. South West England: 3,500BC-AD600. South West England: 3,500BC-AD600. A5 Hardback. 29-32, 35, 120-122, 129, 145, 233, 241..
  • Report - Interim: Todd, M.. Sept 1981. Hembury (Devon). Excavation in 1981. University of Exeter. A4 Stapled + Digital.
  • Article in Serial: Piggott, S.. 1931. The Neolithic Pottery of the British Isles. Archaeological Journal. 88. Unknown. 67-158.
  • Article in Serial: Kirwan, R.. 1871. The Prehistoric Archaeology of East Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 4. Unknown. 648.
  • Article in Serial: Wheeler, R. E. M.. 1939. Iron Age Camps in France and Britain. Antiquity. 13. Unknown. 74, 76.
  • Article in Monograph: Smith, I. F.. 1971. Causewayed Enclosures. Economy and Settlement in Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Britain and Europe. Unknown. 89-112.
  • Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1950. CUC/FL. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 75-78.
  • Correspondence: Department of Environment. 31/07/1986. Proposed Works at Hembury Hill Fort, Devon. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880 - 1899. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
  • Monograph: Donn, B.. 1965. A Map of the County of Devon, 1765 (Reprint). A Map of the County of Devon, 1765 (Reprint). Hardback Volume.
  • Article in Serial: Hutchinson, P. O.. 1862. On the Hill Fortresses, Tumuli, and some other Antiquities of Eastern Devon. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 18. Unknown. 60-61.
  • Article in Monograph: Reichel, O. J.. 1928 - 1938. The Hundred of Hemyock in Early Times. The Hundreds of Devon. A5 Hardback. 36, 42.
  • Article in Serial: Liddell, D. M.. 1930. A Report on the Excavations at Hembury Fort, Devon, 1930. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 1 Part 2. Paperback Volume. 40-63.
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1951 - 1985. ST10SW4. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
  • Article in Serial: Hutchinson, P. O.. 1849. Gentleman's Magazine. Unknown. 137-146.
  • Article in Serial: Peacock, D. P. S.. 1969. A Contribution to the Study of Glastonbury Ware form South-Western Britain. Antiquaries Journal. 49. Unknown. 47, 51, 58.
  • Article in Serial: Hawkes, C.. 1931. Hillforts. Antiquity. 5. Unknown. 80, 84, 86, 95.
  • Article in Serial: Fox, A.. 1952. Archaeological Journal. 109. Unknown. 1-22.
  • Article in Serial: Peacock, D. P. S.. 1969. Neolithic Pottery Production in Cornwall. Antiquity. 43. Unknown. 145-8.
  • Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. CUC/AL. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 130-132.
  • Report - Interim: Todd, M.. 1982. Excavations at Hembury (Devon) in 1982. Interim Report. University of Exeter. A4 Stapled + Digital.
  • Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1966. CUC/ANK. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 80-86.
  • Monograph: Grinsell, L. V.. 1970. Discovering Regional Archaeology: South Western England. Discovering Regional Archaeology: South Western England. Unknown. 26.
  • Un-published: Hutchinson, P. O.. 1848 - 1894. Diaries. Devon Record Office Collection. Manuscript.
  • Article in Serial: Sheldon, G.. 1930. Hembury Fort and the Primitive Road System of East Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 1 Part 2. Paperback Volume. 64-69.
  • Article in Serial: Anonymous. 1936. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 2. Unknown. 89.
  • Article in Serial: Richardson, K. M.. 1940. Excavations at Poundbury, Dorchester, Dorset, 1939. Antiquaries Journal. 20. Unknown. 445.
  • Article in Serial: Anonymous. 1935. Proceedings at the 74th annual meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 67. A5 Hardback. 17-18.
  • Article in Serial: Rogers, E. H.. 1938 - 1942. Some Phases in Devon Prehistory. Transactions of the Torquay Natural History Society. 8. Unknown. 172.
  • Article in Serial: Anonymous. 1919. Hembury Fort. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 65. Unknown. 35-37.
  • Article in Serial: Todd, M.. 2002. The Cross-Dykes at Hembury. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 60. Paperback Volume. 207-210.
  • Article in Serial: Todd, M.. 2007. Roman Military Occupation at Hembury (Devon). Britannia. 38. Digital. 107-123.
  • Article in Serial: Grant, N.. 1995. The Occupation of Hillforts in Devon during the Late Roman and Post Roman Periods. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 53. Paperback Volume. 103.
  • Article in Serial: Wilson, D. R.. 1975. Causewayed Camps and Interrupted Ditch Systems. Antiquity. 49. Unknown. 178, 183.
  • Article in Serial: Clifford, W.. 1878. On the Course of a Roman Military Road through Somersetshire. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 24. Unknown. 26.
  • Monograph: Saunders, A. D.. 1991. Exploring England's Heritage: Devon and Cornwall. Exploring England's Heritage - Devon and Cornwall. Unknown. 9-10.
  • Leaflet: Devon Archaeological Society. 1989. Hembury. Field Guide. 5. Leaflet + Digital.
  • Article in Serial: Liddell, D. M.. 1931. Report of the Excavations at Hembury Fort. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Exploration Society. 1 Part 3. Paperback Volume. 90-120.
  • Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. CPE/ UK 1974. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2452.
  • Article in Serial: Macalpine Woods, G.. 1929. A Note on Hembury Fort. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 1 Part 1. Paperback Volume. 4.
  • Article in Serial: Hutchinson, P. O.. 1882. The Site of Moridunum. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 14. A5 Hardback. 521.
  • Article in Serial: Howarth, H.. 1913. Archaeological Journal. 70. Unknown. 505-507.
  • Article in Serial: Fox, A.. 1957. Hembury Hillfort. Archaeological Journal. 114. Unknown. 144-147.
  • Aerial Photograph: Wykes, H.. 1930-1931. Air View from South. Photograph (Paper).
  • Article in Serial: Todd, M.. 1984. Hembury (Devon): Roman Troops in a Hillfort. Antiquity. 58. Photocopy + Digital. 171-4.
  • Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1974. CUC/RC. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 19-20, 64-5,.
  • Un-published: Woollcombe, H.. 1839 - 1850. Woollcombe Manuscript. Manuscript. 24-25.
  • Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1998. Hembury Fort. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
  • Monograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1988. Devon's Past. An Aerial View. Devon's Past. An Aerial View. Paperback Volume. 24.
  • Monograph: Fox, A.. 1996. Prehistoric Hillforts in Devon. Prehistoric Hillforts in Devon. Paperback Volume. 36.
  • Un-published: Snell, R.. 1986. Green Lanes in Devon Project. Green Lanes in Devon Project. Not applicable. Unknown.
  • Article in Serial: Anonymous. 1935. Interim Report. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 1. Unknown. 131.
  • Article in Serial: Liddell, D. M.. 1932. The Palisade at Hembury Fort. Antiquity. 6. Unknown. 475-7.
  • Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/Z. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 5-7.
  • Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1980. CUC/CMD. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 25-29.
  • Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2010. Heritage at Risk Register 2010: South West. English Heritage Report. Digital. 86.
  • Plan - measured: Quinnell, N. V.. 1982. Hembury. Plan + Digital.
  • Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2011. Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West. english Heritage. Digital. 88.
  • Correspondence: English Heritage. 13/02/2015. Hembury Fort, Payhembury, Devon. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Digital.
  • Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1986. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1986. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
  • Article in Serial: Adams, E. A. + Dewey, H.. 1950. Spindle Whorls Found in Devonshire. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 82. A5 Hardback. 325.
  • Article in Serial: Todd, M.. 1981. Excavations at Hembury (Devon), 1980. University of Exeter Department of History & Archaeology: Fieldwork and Excavation Annual Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
  • Un-published: Todd, M.. 25/04/1982. Hembury. Sequence of the Iron Age Defences. A4 Single Sheet + Digital.
  • Plan - measured: Todd, M.. Hembury: Roman Military Structures. Plan + Digital.
  • Aerial Photograph: Selwyn College, Cambridge. Pre Aug 1972. Hembury Fort, Looking South. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photocopy + Digital.
  • Cartographic: Unknown. Unknown. Hembury. Excavations 1980-1982. Map + Digital.
  • Worksheet: Eastwood, C.. Feb 1984. Hembury Hillfort. Worksheet + Digital.
  • Worksheet: Eastwood, C.. June 1986. Hembury Fort. Worksheet + Digital.
  • Worksheet: Hawkings, A. S.. Unknown. Hembury Fort. Worksheet + Digital.
  • Correspondence: Historic England. 12/10/2015. Hembury Fort, East Devon. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Digital.
  • Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2016-2017. The Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
  • Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1974. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1974 FS 2452-2453 11-APR-1947.
  • Cartographic: Environment Agency. 1998-2014. LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR ST1102-ST1103 Environment Agency DTM 01-JAN-1998 to 30-SEP-2014.
  • Ground Photograph: Devon County Council. 2017. Hembury Hill Fort, Awliscombe. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV112692Parent of: Causewayed Enclosure at Hembury Fort (Monument)
MDV1857Parent of: Flints from Hembury Fort (Monument)
MDV5327Parent of: Hembury Fort Neolithic Settlement (Monument)
MDV1854Parent of: Hembury Fort Roman Occupation (Monument)
MDV1858Parent of: Iron Lar found on or near Hembury Fort (Find Spot)
MDV112706Related to: Awliscombe-Payhembury Parish Boundary (Part) (Monument)
MDV74252Related to: Broadhembury (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV2566 - SPINDLE WHORL (Unknown date)
  • FDV1173 - MICROBURIN (Mesolithic - 8000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FDV1174 - MICROBURIN (Mesolithic - 8000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FDV1171 - MICROLITH (Mesolithic - 8000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FDV1172 - MICROLITH (Mesolithic - 8000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FDV1166 - BEAD (Iron Age - 700 BC to 42 AD)
  • FDV1168 - POT (Iron Age - 700 BC to 42 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV4370 - Watching Brief of Former Garages, Broadhembury
  • EDV6794 - Excavations at Hembury Fort
  • EDV6798 - Excavations at Hembury Hillfort
  • EDV6924 - The Blackdown Hills AONB and East Devon River Catchments NMP project (Ref: ACD1228)

Date Last Edited:Feb 13 2017 12:24PM