HeritageGateway - Home

Login  |  Register
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.


HER Number:MDV8221
Name:Cranbrook Castle

Summary

A small roughly circular, univallate hillfort on the north east fringe of Dartmoor, overlooking the River Teign.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 738 890
Map Sheet:SX78NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMoretonhampstead
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishMORETONHAMPSTEAD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78NW/1
  • Old SAM County Ref: 143

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HILLFORT (Iron Age - 700 BC to 42 AD (Between))

Full description

Cambridge University, 01/06/1973, CUC/BMT, 17-19 (Aerial Photograph). SDV306067.


Greeves, T. + Griffith, F. M., 04/11/1981, Cranbrook Castle (Worksheet). SDV351084.

Stone revetment of rampart still visible in places. A small area of ploughing to the west abuts the outer rampart.


Griffith, F. M., 08/07/1985, Cranbrook Castle (Personal Comment). SDV306060.

Site visit 6th July 1985. Several inexpertly cut trenches observed in the outer edge of the inner rampart, apparently made within the last year. One, just east of the trig pillar, displays the revetment wall of the inner rampart well.


Searley, A. W., 1800, A Book about Dartmoor, 97, 127 (Monograph). SDV306036.


Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica, 353 (Monograph). SDV323771.


Woollcombe, H., 1839 - 1850, Woollcombe Manuscript, 140 (Un-published). SDV16214.

Woollcombe visited the site in 1832 and on 19th August 1840. He describes it as having a single rampart (mainly stones) and outer ditch, double rampart to south. In 1840 the north rampart was levelled, the west and east ramparts quarried. Plan in manuscript.


Wilkinson, J. G., 1862, On British Remains on Dartmoor, 125 (Article in Serial). SDV277122.

Wilkinson notes that Cranbrook Castle has two entrances, unusual in British camps of comparable size, with a projection or tower within gateway on each side.


Unknown, 1863, Unknown, 25 (Article in Serial). SDV306039.


Rowe, S., 1896, A Perambulation of the Forest of Dartmoor, 126 (Monograph). SDV249697.


Department of Environment, 19/04/1991, Cranbrook Castle (Correspondence). SDV326418.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for removal of trig pillar and replacement with truncated pyramid. Also for repair of eroded areas.


Amery, P. F. S., 1900 - 1901, A Tour across Dartmoor into North Devon by the Rev. John Swete 1789, 92 (Article in Serial). SDV18670.


Baring Gould, S., 1901, Seventh Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee, 129-135 (Article in Serial). SDV249499.


Wall, J. C., 1906, Ancient Earthworks, 365-366,598-599/plan (Article in Monograph). SDV341465.

The main entrance is to the southwest where the earthwork curves. Two hut circles found within east rampart, with remains of fire-holes; charcoal, pottery fragments, base of a quern, and sling stones were found. Excavations in 1901 revealed pottery of a type similar to b. A. But which survived into i. A. The elaborate system of fortification points to the earthwork having been erected not earlier than the i. A. Interior of the camp is studded with dozens of small round stumps of stone about 1.5m diameter, which also cover the north slope of the hill. No metal was found in any of the excavations.


Allcroft, A. H., 1908, Earthwork of England, 116 (Monograph). SDV11975.

Allcroft compares Cranbrook with Shoulsbarrow. A line of 'loose stone' remains on the northern side, possibly an unfinished rampart. The plan published by Allcroft shows up to four lines of defences on the western side of the fort.


Worth, R. H., 1927, Proceedings at the 66th Annual Meeting, 27-28 (Article in Serial). SDV338184.


Ralegh Radford, C. A., 1929, Our Prehistoric Camps, 5 (Article in Serial). SDV306038.


Hawkes, C., 1931, Hillforts, 79, 95 (Article in Serial). SDV135844.


Pilkington-Rogers, C. W, 1932, The Date of the Dartmoor Antiquities, 348, 385-6 (Article in Serial). SDV149513.

Excavations in 1900 discovered pottery with incised decoration similar to that found at Glastonbury Lake Village. Nothing of earlier date found. Elaborate system of fortification on south side and discovery of granite quern. All points to Early Iron Age


Brailsford, J. W., 1938, Bronze Age Stone Monuments of Dartmoor, 456 (Article in Serial). SDV304210.


Radford, C., 1945, Report on the Inclusion of Archaeologically Important Areas in Natural Reserves, 140 (Article in Serial). SDV306032.


Worth, R. H., 1946, Stray notes on the Teign Valley, 165-167 (Article in Serial). SDV222207.


Royal Air Force, 1947, CPE/UK/2082, 4934-5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV343041.


Cambridge University, 1950, CUC/FL, 33-35 (Aerial Photograph). SDV135873.


Cambridge University Collection, 1953, CUC/MH, 28-30 (Aerial Photograph). SDV24830.


National Monuments Record, 1953, SX7388, 1 (Aerial Photograph). SDV306062.


Cambridge University, 1955, CUC/QE, 89-91 (Aerial Photograph). SDV224837.


Cambridge University, 1966, CUC/ANM, 23-25 (Aerial Photograph). SDV62341.


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


Grinsell, L. V., 1970, Discovering Regional Archaeology: South Western England, 24 (Monograph). SDV304192.

Cranbrook Castle, a hill fort. Iron age. A small roughly circular hill fort on the north east fringe of dartmoor, overlooking the river teign. It is essentially univallate with berm, ditch and counterscarp. The rampart is stone built. The north side is either unfurnished or largely levelled. There are original inturned entrances certainly at the east and probably at the west. The land usage is rough pasture.


Collis, J., 1972, Cranbrook Castle, Moretonhampstead, Devon. A New Survey, 216-221 (Article in Serial). SDV306044.

Cranbrook Castle can be interpreted as a two-phase structure. First: a univallate enclosure of 7.5 hectares, slight defences and two possibly three weakly defended entrances; this phase believed to be of long duration. Decorated glastonbury pot associated with it. Second: a univallate hillfort with more massive ramparts with stone revetment, enclosing 5.25 hectares; this phase unfinished. Earlier entrances remained in use and a partially bivallate rampart was formed.


National Monuments Record, 1977, SX7389, 5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV306061.


Collis, J., 1979, Cranbrook Castle Revisited, 191-194 (Article in Serial). SDV306016.

An attempt to establish relationships between the hillfort and the reaves discovered in the vicinity. Plan shows position of reaves. The relationship with the phase one fort suggests the reaves are earlier and also that the reave system was still in use if not actually under construction contemporary with the hillfort origins. Parallel with Quarley Hill in Hampshire. There is an alternative interpretation that the hillfort is one phase, bivallate. This depends on the view of the relationship between the inner and outer banks on the nw side of the fort, which is ambiguous. Collis corrects previous calculations of the areas of the enclosures. Now gives phase one as about 4 hectares and phase two as 2.8 hectares.


Pearce, S. M., 1979, The Distribution and Production of Bronze Age Metalwork, 144 (Article in Serial). SDV322230.


Silvester, R. J., 1979, The Relationship of First Millennium Settlement to the Upland Areas of the South West, 181, Fig. 1 (Article in Serial). SDV177352.


Cambridge University, 1980, CUC/CMD, 1-3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV135877.


Quinnell, N. V., 1981, Crankbrook Castle (Plan - measured). SDV306052.


The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Unit, 1985, The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Project (Interpretation). SDV340940.

Visible and recorded, containing seven possible hut circles.


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

Department of Environment Field Monument Warden visit 6th March 1986.


Griffiths, D., 1986, Site visit to Cranbrook Castle (Worksheet). SDV344920.

Small circular stone feature noted on rampart north of the south-western entrance. This features appears to be of drystone construction, 1.3 meters in diameter with three courses of stone visible in one place, two below ground level (approximately 0.23 meters) and one above (approximately 0.1 meters). This may be the result of modern vandalism.


Griffith, F. M., 1989, DAP/OI (Aerial Photograph). SDV337744.


Silvester, R. J. + Quinnell, N. V., 1993, Unfinished Hillforts on the Devon Moors, 25-27 (Article in Serial). SDV62321.

The outer rampart cuts or overlies the banks of an earlier field system. Upwards of 30 clearance cairns are visible in the interior; date unknown. The outer defences on the east and west sides are clearly incomplete. On the north side the inner rampart line is marked by 2 very low linear dumps of stone, which appear to have acted as markers for the front and rear of the rampart. No trace of an accompanying ditch. The original bivallate plan of the hillfort is reinforced by the abrupt termination on the west side of both the outer bank and inner bank and ditch in line. Other aspects of the unfinished hillfort are the irregularities in height of inner rampart on the south side. These probably mark divisions between construction gangs.


Grant, N., 1995, The Occupation of Hillforts in Devon during the Late Roman and Post Roman Periods, 102 (Article in Serial). SDV7954.


Fox, A., 1996, Prehistoric Hillforts in Devon (DNPA Copy), 29-31 (Monograph). SDV360402.


Swete, J. (ed. Gray T. + Rowe, M.), 1997, Travels in Georgian Devon. The Illustrated Journals of the Reverend John Swete. Vol. 1, 12 (Monograph). SDV341166.

Swete visited Cranbrook Castle in 1789. 'This Entrenchment', he says, 'Saxon or Dane, is on an high eminence, commanding a range of country to great extent... The Western mound of this Encampment is the highest, reaching not quite to the top of the hill, and the fosse is at this place of the greatest depth; a plan which appears to have ben skilfully conducted, to the intent, that it might counteract the natural situation which was not so defencible as at other parts… its circumference I judged to be about seven hundred yards for as it seemed nearly Circular, I traversed its diameter from south to north and found it to be nearly two hundred and forty yards'.


Quinnell, H., 1998, Later Prehistoric Pottery Survey, DBID 1774 (Report - Survey). SDV336212.

Perhaps 20 sherds of Middle/Late Iron Age pottery were recovered during excavation. Other non-ceramics were also found including a quern. Current location is unknown


Griffith, F. M., 20/02/1987, DAP/ID, 5, 6 (Aerial Photograph). SDV306073.


Griffith, F. M. + Wilkes, E. M., 2011, In the Footsteps of Pioneering Women; Some Recent Work on Devon Hillforts (Article in Serial). SDV361500.


Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

Map object based on this source.


Ralston, I. + Lock, G., 2017, Atlas of Hillforts (Website). SDV360888.


Cambridge University, 24/04/1975, CUC/BCJ, 10-12 (Aerial Photograph). SDV306069.


Jones, J. P., Circa 1820, Ms Top. Devon e1, fol 3/4 (Un-published). SDV306043.

The Rev. J. P. Jones, writing circa 1820, says that 'in the area of Cranbrook Castle formerly might be traced a great number of divisions formed by ranges of stones dividing the area into squares and parallelograms. But these divisions have of late years almost entirely disappeared, the interior having been plowed up'. I however traced a few of these lines extending over the Heath at the sourthern part beyond the fortification where they soon disappeared being concealed by the furze. Dor. Borlase has described similar divisions in his account of Chun Castle, but I never noticed them any where except at Cranbook..'


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SX78NW6 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV306009.

Site visit 21st March 1953. Hut circles not located and no surface finds made. Defensively the situation is rather poor. Whole camp is overgrown with bracken and furze and is in fair state of preservation. Most complete entrance is on east side and not that on southwest which has no definite incurving evidence.


Ancient Monuments, Unknown, Cranbrook Castle, Moreton Hampstead (Schedule Document). SDV351092.

A roughly square camp 3/4 of a mile from Prestonbury Castle on the opposite bank of the River Teign, which is here crossed by an ancient road which was in used as late as the 17th century when Fingle Bridge was built. The north side which is defended by a precipitous descent to the river has only a low rubble bank, as an artificial defence. On the south where the approad is gentlest the defences consist of a vallum faced outside with dry masontry, a berme, ditch, outer vallum and a small outer ditch. The outer defences gradually cease on the east and west where the slopes become steeper. On the south the rampart rise 9 feet from the interior of the camp and descends 9 feet to the berme and a further 7 feet to the bottom of the ditch. The height of the outer rampart is about 5 feet. The dry walling is much decayed. Exploration in 1900 produced a few sherds of pottery similar to that from Glastonbury Lake Village and part of a rotary quern.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SX78NW39 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV306057.

Site visit 23rd November 1981. The fields seen on the aerial photograph are mostly not locatable on the ground, because of gorse. At two points the banks are cut by the hillfort ramparts. The prehistoric system is earlier than the fort: the contemporary usage put forward by Collis is unproven. Extensive clearance heaps suggest the system previously extended further.

Sources / Further Reading

  • Monograph: Allcroft, A. H.. 1908. Earthwork of England. Earthwork of England. Unknown. 116.
  • Article in Serial: Peacock, D. P. S.. 1969. A Contribution to the Study of Glastonbury Ware form South-Western Britain. Antiquaries Journal. 49. Unknown. 58.
  • Article in Serial: Hawkes, C.. 1931. Hillforts. Antiquity. 5. Unknown. 79, 95.
  • Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1950. CUC/FL. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 33-35.
  • Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1980. CUC/CMD. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 1-3.
  • Article in Serial: Pilkington-Rogers, C. W. 1932. The Date of the Dartmoor Antiquities. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 64. A5 Hardback. 348, 385-6.
  • Un-published: Woollcombe, H.. 1839 - 1850. Woollcombe Manuscript. Manuscript. 140.
  • Article in Serial: Silvester, R. J.. 1979. The Relationship of First Millennium Settlement to the Upland Areas of the South West. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 37. Paperback Volume. 181, Fig. 1.
  • Article in Serial: Amery, P. F. S.. 1900 - 1901. A Tour across Dartmoor into North Devon by the Rev. John Swete 1789. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 1. Unknown. 92.
  • Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1946. Stray notes on the Teign Valley. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 78. Unknown. 165-167.
  • Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1955. CUC/QE. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 89-91.
  • Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University Collection. 1953. CUC/MH. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 28-30.
  • Article in Serial: Baring Gould, S.. 1901. Seventh Report of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 33. Digital. 129-135.
  • Monograph: Rowe, S.. 1896. A Perambulation of the Forest of Dartmoor. Perambulation of the Forest of Dartmoor. Unknown. 126.
  • Article in Serial: Wilkinson, J. G.. 1862. On British Remains on Dartmoor. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 18. Unknown. 125.
  • Monograph: Grinsell, L. V.. 1970. Discovering Regional Archaeology: South Western England. Discovering Regional Archaeology: South Western England. Unknown. 24.
  • Article in Serial: Brailsford, J. W.. 1938. Bronze Age Stone Monuments of Dartmoor. Antiquity. 12. 456.
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SX78NW6. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
  • Article in Serial: Collis, J.. 1979. Cranbrook Castle Revisited. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 37. Paperback Volume. 191-194.
  • Article in Serial: Radford, C.. 1945. Report on the Inclusion of Archaeologically Important Areas in Natural Reserves. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 77. Hardback Volume. 140.
  • Monograph: Searley, A. W.. 1800. A Book about Dartmoor. A Book About Dartmoor. 2. Unknown. 97, 127.
  • Article in Serial: Ralegh Radford, C. A.. 1929. Our Prehistoric Camps. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 1. Paperback Volume. 5.
  • Article in Serial: Unknown. 1863. Unknown. Collectanae Archaeologia. 2.1. Unknown. 25.
  • Un-published: Jones, J. P.. Circa 1820. Ms Top. Devon e1, fol 3/4. Unknown.
  • Article in Serial: Collis, J.. 1972. Cranbrook Castle, Moretonhampstead, Devon. A New Survey. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 30. Paperback Volume. 216-221.
  • Plan - measured: Quinnell, N. V.. 1981. Crankbrook Castle. Unknown.
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SX78NW39. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
  • Personal Comment: Griffith, F. M.. 08/07/1985. Cranbrook Castle. Not Applicable.
  • Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1977. SX7389. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Unknown. 5.
  • Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1953. SX7388. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. 1.
  • Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 01/06/1973. CUC/BMT. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Unknown. 17-19.
  • Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 24/04/1975. CUC/BCJ. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Unknown. 10-12.
  • Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 20/02/1987. DAP/ID. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 5, 6.
  • Article in Serial: Pearce, S. M.. 1979. The Distribution and Production of Bronze Age Metalwork. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 37. 144.
  • Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown. 353.
  • Correspondence: Department of Environment. 19/04/1991. Cranbrook Castle. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
  • Report - Survey: Quinnell, H.. 1998. Later Prehistoric Pottery Survey. Later Prehistoric Pottery Survey. A4 Spiral Bound. DBID 1774.
  • Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1989. DAP/OI. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
  • Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1927. Proceedings at the 66th Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 59. A5 Hardback. 27-28.
  • Interpretation: The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Unit. 1985. The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Project. The Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England Aerial Photograph Project. Map (Paper).
  • Monograph: Swete, J. (ed. Gray T. + Rowe, M.). 1997. Travels in Georgian Devon. The Illustrated Journals of the Reverend John Swete. Vol. 1. Travels in Georgian Devon. The Illustrated Journals of the Reverend John Sw. 1. Hardback Volume. 12.
  • Article in Monograph: Wall, J. C.. 1906. Ancient Earthworks. Victoria History of the County of Devon. Hardback Volume. 365-366,598-599/plan.
  • Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. CPE/UK/2082. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4934-5.
  • Worksheet: Griffiths, D.. 1986. Site visit to Cranbrook Castle. A4 Single Sheet.
  • Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1986. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1986. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
  • Worksheet: Greeves, T. + Griffith, F. M.. 04/11/1981. Cranbrook Castle. Worksheet.
  • Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. Unknown. Cranbrook Castle, Moreton Hampstead. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Single Sheet.
  • Monograph: Fox, A.. 1996. Prehistoric Hillforts in Devon (DNPA Copy). Prehistoric Hillforts in Devon. Paperback Volume. 29-31.
  • Website: Ralston, I. + Lock, G.. 2017. Atlas of Hillforts. https://hillforts.arch.ox.ac.uk/. Website.
  • Article in Serial: Griffith, F. M. + Wilkes, E. M.. 2011. In the Footsteps of Pioneering Women; Some Recent Work on Devon Hillforts. British Archaeological Reports. 548. Paperback Volume.
  • Article in Serial: Silvester, R. J. + Quinnell, N. V.. 1993. Unfinished Hillforts on the Devon Moors. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 51. Paperback Volume. 25-27.
  • Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1966. CUC/ANM. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 23-25.
  • 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. 102.

Associated Monuments

MDV14531Related to: Cairns or Hut Circles in Cranbrook Castle (Monument)
MDV27963Related to: Field system west of Cranbrook Castle, Moretonhampstead (Monument)
MDV732Related to: Shoulsbury (or Shoulsbarrow) Castle (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV5936 - ROTARY QUERN (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2200 BC to 42 AD)
  • FDV5935 - SHERD (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2200 BC to 42 AD)

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Aug 20 2018 10:46AM