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Myrtleberry South Camp

Hob Uid: 35182
Location :
Devon
North Devon
Lynton and Lynmouth
Grid Ref : SS7415048300
Summary : The earthwork remains of an Iron Age hillslope enclosure known as Myrtleberry South Camp have been surveyed at 1:2500 and are partially visible on aerial photographs. The enclosure is terraced into the hillside and is defined on three sides by a single bank and ditch. The original entrance was probably on the northern side. The enclosure contains at least seven building platforms, most of which comprise crescent-shaped stone-revetted scarps built against the inner face of the western wall.
More information : (SS 74174832) Earthworks shown but not described. (1)

Known as Myrtleberry South, this is a univallate hillslope enclosure of about one acre, immediately south of the junction of footpaths from Waters Meet and Higher East Lyn. (2-3)

An IA hillslope enclosure located on a slight shelf of a precipitous easterly hillslope.

The uphill side comprises a strong bank and rock-cut ditch but the lower side is delimited only by the steep natural slope.

There are two gaps in the rampart (on the north and south sides), both have been utilised by a probably modern pathway but the former appears to be original.

The internal artificial level platform against the northern rampart probably indicates the habitation site. Resurveyed at 1:2500. (4)

SS 7416 4832. An enclosed settlement of uncertain period. The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, Devon No.710. (5)

The settlement lies about 260m above OD in thick deciduous woodland and overlooks Hoaroak Water some 400m south of its junction with the East Lyn River. The site has recently been cleared of some trees and scrub. It has been reseeded and is at present under short grass and bracken with a few deciduous trees within the enclosure.

Set into a steep south-east facing slope the settlement is basically sub-rectangular in form oriented along the slope and it measures internally about 80m NE/SW by 35m, an area of some 0.25 ha. The upper western side and the short north and south sides are formed by a bank with an external ditch. Where best preserved (central to the south side) the bank is 4.5m wide, 0.7m high internally and 1.6m high above the outer ditch which is 4.5m wide and 0.5m deep. Midway along the western side, for some 35m, the ditch is silted and now merges with the bank into the general slope. Along the eastern side excavated material from the interior has been dumped downhill to form a platform across the lower half of the enclosure marked by an outer facing scarp up to 5m wide and 2m high which merges at its base with the natural slope. A footpath runs along the eastern part of the enclosure through narrow gaps in the north and south banks near their eastern ends. At the northern gap there is a step in the bank which suggests that this was most probably the original entrance. Some 13m west of the gap, there is a lowering of the bank which Griffith (7) suggest was "a possible original entrance" however, there is no causeway over the ditch, no opposing break in the outer scarp and no evidence of erosion caused by usage so this is extremely doubtful. It is difficult to ascertain if the gap in the southern bank is an original feature widened by use over the years or a modern break. Internally there are seven identifiable platforms. One, at SS 7417 4833 is oval, 5m N/S by 3m with frontal and rear scarps, but mainly they are crescentic stone revetted frontal scarps built up against the steep inner scarp on the western side. They vary from 3m-10m across and 0.3m to 1.4m in height and are most probably stances for buildings. At SS 74145 48292, set in the ground between two platforms, is an earthfast stone, 0.6m long by 0.2m wide and 0.2m high. (7)

Griffith suggests there is no compelling reason for regarding this as an Iron Age site and states that it could as well be medieval and refers to the Cadleigh Enclosures (SS 90 NW 10) for comparison. The steepness of the slopes here dictate that any enclosure would of necessity be constructed along the slope, that is long and narrow and hence tend to be rectangular. It is often a feature of hillslope enclosures, as in this site, to have this form of stronger boundary around the uphill side, more open downhill side and several internal platforms. So there appears to be nothing to preclude this from being an Iron Age settlement. There is however nothing to prevent this site from having been reused at a later period, though no ground evidence was found to verify this.

*Note: The settlement is not named on the Ordnance Survey plans, however the woods from which it takes its name are spelt "Myrtleberry", so the spelling "Myrtlebury"' quoted in authorities (5) & (7), would appear to be incorrect. (5-9)

Published 1:2500 Survey revised. (10)

Generally as described by the above authority, except that the internal platforms may have been re-used in the context of charcoal burning. Surveyed at 1:500 scale, 20 July 1996. (12)

SS 74164831. Myrtleberry South Camp, an Iron Age hillslope enclosure. Scheduled. (14)

Due to the felling of some of the tree cover, the earthworks at Myrtleberry South are partly visible on aerial photographs of 1952 and 1995. The ditch is not visible from the air and the earthworks appear eroded. The visible earthworks have been transcribed as part of the Exmoor National Mapping Programme. (15-16)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1962
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Grinsell L V. 1970. Archaeology of Exmoor 83
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Source Number : 11
Source : Myrtleberry South settlement/ink survey
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Source Number : 12
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : R WILSON-NORTH & H RILEY 20 JULY 1996 RCHME FIELD INVESTIGATION
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Source Number : 13
Source : Myrtleberry South/ink survey
Source details :
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Source Number : 14
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 16-Oct-02
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Source Number : 15
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 540/910 (F20) 3027-8 17-OCT-1952
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Source Number : 16
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/95026 054-5 12-MAR-1995
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Source Number : 3
Source : Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings
Source details : (C Whybrow)
Page(s) : 9
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Vol(s) : 25 - 1967
Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 MJF 07-NOV-73
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Source Number : 5
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : DOE 1987 Department of the Environment County List of Scheduled Ancient Monuments : Devon 18, County No:710.
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Source Number : 6
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : Ordnance Survey 1976 1:2500 Sheet SS 7448.
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Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Griffith, F.M. 11-Feb-1989 Devon County SMR SS74NW 5.
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Source Number : 8
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : Ordnance Survey 1888 1:2500 Devon Sheet 3:14.
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Source Number : 9
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : Ordnance Survey 1904 1:2500 Devon Sheet 3:14
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Source Number : 10
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Sainsbury, I.S. 15-Jun-1994 RCHME Field Investigation
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Enclosed Settlement, Bank (Earthwork), Ditch, Building Platform
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SS74NW5
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DV 710
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 33055
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 686
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MDE1248
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 74 NW 15
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 35179
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 74 NW 15
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1973-11-07
End Date : 1973-11-07
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01