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Historic England Research Records

Mounsey Castle

Hob Uid: 35638
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Dulverton
Grid Ref : SS8855029560
Summary : The earthwork remains of an Iron Age univallate hillfort known as Mounsey Castle. An area of about 1.75 hectares is defined by single scarp to the east and west and a rampart to the south. There are two entrances to the site, one to the north east and the other to the south west, both of which appear to be original. The defences to the north are provided by an outwork located roughly 100 metres from the hillfort. It comprises a steep scarp with a shallow ditch to the rear and a level berm to the front, with a scarped bank below. The remains of a small stone building lie within the hiilfort and have been identified as a charcoal burner's hut.
More information : [SS 88562955] Mounsey Castle (NAT) Camp (NR) (1)

Mounsey Castle stands on a high promontory just south of the confluence of the Barle and Danes Brook. It is an irregular triangular earthwork with the curved base running almost due E-W and the apex pointing NE. Entrances are at the west end of the NE bank and at thw SW corner. The enclosure is about 170 yds. across the baseof the triangle and 200 yds. from this base to the apex. (2)

Univallate hillfort of under 3 acres (3). (2 & 3)

Mounsey Castle is a promontory fort at the southern end of a steep-sided ridge. The defence evidently consisted of a coursed stone wall supplemented by scarping the natural slope. Along the south sideintermittent sections of walling survive up to 0.5m high and 4.0m thick. Elsewhere there is a low bank, or merely the scarp, on which tumbled stone occurs throughout. A quarry ditch is visible within most of the perimeter. There are two entrance gaps: that on the west is certainly original and may have been approached from the south-east by a banked way. The other gap, in the north east, may have been caused by a modern terraced track from the valley below. A small rectangular structure with evidence of chimney, at SS 88602949, is probably a charcoal burners hut. Surveyed at 1/2500. (4)

SS 886295. Mounsey Castle. Scheduled.
(Listed under 'Camps and Settlements'). (5)

Mounsey Castle, in a semi-promontory position with a steep drop to theriver on the west, is a roughly triangular shaped fort. The defences are univallate on the SE and E sides with a ditch and counterscarp on the S. On the W the rampart runs along the top of a very steep slope down to the Barle. On the S the inner rampart can be seen to consist of a drystone wall about 3m thick still surviving several courses high. Behind the W rampart about 40m N of the SW entrance is a large recumbent slab, possibly a fallen standing stone. Visited 1 4 73.
(6)

Legend has it that a stone at Mouncey Castle fell from the Devil's apron as he was on his way to build Tarr Steps. (7)

Additional Bibliography. (8 - 11)

SS 885 295. Mounsey Castle. Listed in gazetteer as a univallate hillfort covering 1.75ha. (12)

Mounsey Castle was surveyed at a scale of 1:1000 by the RCHME as part of the Exmoor project. Full details in survey report (13).

Scheduling amended. (14)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1962
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Source Number : 2
Source : The Victoria history Somerset, volume two
Source details : (C H Bothamley)
Page(s) : 492-493
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Vol(s) : 2, 1911
Source Number : 11
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details :
Page(s) : 300
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Vol(s) : 7, 1850
Source Number : 12
Source : British Hillforts: an index
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Vol(s) : 62
Source Number : 13
Source : Mounsey Castle and Brewer's Castle : two Iron Age enclosures in the Barle Valley, Somerset : an archaeological survey by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England
Source details : Riley H 1999 Mounsey Castle and Brewer's Castle: two Iron Age enclosures in the Barle Valley, Somerset
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Source Number : 14
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 03-Sep-04
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Source : Mounsey Castle/pencil survey
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Source : Mounsey Castle/ink survey
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Source : Mounsey Castle and Brewers Castle/report
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Source Number : 3
Source : Ordnance Survey map of southern Britain in the Iron Age
Source details :
Page(s) : 45
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JP 25-AUG-65
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Source Number : 5
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : DOE (IAM) AMs Eng 2 1978 120
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Source Number : 6
Source : Hillfort and hill-top settlement in Somerset in the first to eighth centuries A.D.
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Vol(s) : 91
Source Number : 7
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 62
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Vol(s) : 29, 1883
Source Number : 8
Source : Ancient earthworks and camps of Somerset
Source details : Earthworks and Camps of Somer 1924 88 (E J Burrow)
Page(s) : 88
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Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Page JLW, An Exploration of Exmoor 1890
Page(s) : 85-6
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Source Number : 10
Source : The archaeology of Somerset
Source details : The Arch of Somerset, The County Arch Series 1931 247 (D P Dobson)
Page(s) : 247
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Univallate Hillfort, Promontory Fort, Earthwork, Fieldwork
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Charcoal Burners Hut
Evidence : Demolished Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33538
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33539
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 35975
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : SO 373
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : AIP Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : E.40.4085
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : AF1351416
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 82 NE 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 82 NE 2
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1965-08-25
End Date : 1965-08-25