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Historic England Research Records

Bury Castle

Hob Uid: 36765
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Selworthy
Grid Ref : SS9174047170
Summary : The Iron Age hill-fort, Bury Castle, consists of a sub-oval enclosure visible as an earthwork with two detached outworks. The enclosure measures 80m by 60m and is defined by a bank whih measures 1.6m high. A single entrance lies on the north east side of the enclosure. There are also two detached outworks. The first lies some 30 m to the north-west and comprises a single bank 10 m long and 2.7 m high with a ditch 1.2 m deep on its northern side. There is no clear entrance through the outwork, and it is likely that access was around its southern end where the earthwork fades. The second outwork lies 150 m to the north-west of the former and is about 120 m long. Its western half has been incorporated into a later field system and it is now indistinguishable from a field bank. The eastern half, which was initially identified by Allcroft, comprises a spread bank 4.5 m wide and 0.9 m high. Both outworks cross the spur and fade away where natural slopes begin to steepen. This is a scheduled monument.
More information : [SS 91774716] Bury Castle (NAT)
Camp (NR) (1)

Bury Castle: a multivallate hill-fort of under three acres, at the
end of the spur immediately NW of Selworthy. Defences consist of
widely spaced, outer-ditched triple ramparts to west, and a scarped,
precipitous slope to the east. (see plans) (2-5)

This is a small univallate hillfort with an annexe or outwork to the
west. The alledged third rampart shown by Allcroft is a bank running
from SS 91524714 to SS 91584734. It is of totally different
appearance to the other defences and seems to be nothing more than a
comparatively modern field bank.

The main enclosure is bounded by a rampart and outer ditch, but
because it is situated on a west-east slope the ditch disappears and
the rampart degenerates into little more than an outer scarp on the
downhill (eastern) side.

No continuation of the southern end of the western outwork can be
traced, but the northern end turns and is linked by a scarp to the
main enclosure.
Published 1:2500 survey revised. (6)

There are traces of stone building foundations in the NE part of the
inner enclosure where a track enters (7). Whybrow mentions that a
good deal of stone is evident in the structure at and near the NE
entrance, as well as at one or two other points, and it is possible
the rampart was originally stone revetted. (7-8)

(SS 91774716) Bury Castle (NAT)
Settlement (NR) (9)

Additional Bibliography. (10-14)

SS 917 471. Bury Castle, Selworthy. Listed in gazetteer as a multivallate hillfort with widely spaced ramparts covering 0.18ha. (15)

Bury Castle consists of a sub-oval enclosure of presumed Iron Age date with two detached outworks on the north-west side. The site lies at 240 m above OD on a spur running roughly north-west to south-east immediately north-west of Selworthy village.
The enclosure is centred at SS 9176 4716 and measures 80 m by 60 m overall. It is defined by a substantial earth and stone bank 1.6 m high with an external ditch 1.5 m deep. On the south-east, the enclosure is defined by an outward facing scarp only.
There is a single entrance 3 m wide on the north-east side. This has been obscured and infilled by a later dump of material, possibly stone clearance resulting from post-medieval agricultural improvement.
Some slight platforming immediately south of the entrance may represent original hut stances.
There are two detached outworks. The first lies some 30 m to the north-west and comprises a single bank 10 m long and 2.7 m high with a ditch 1.2 m deep on its northern side. There is no clear entrance through the outwork, and it is likely that access was around its southern end where the earthwork fades. The second outwork lies 150 m north-west of the former and is about 120 m long. Its western half has been incorporated into a later field system and it is now indistinguishable from a field bank. The eastern half, which was initially identified by Allcroft, comprises a spread bank 4.5 m wide and 0.9 m high. Both outworks cross the spur and fade away where natural slopes begin to steepen.
Surveyed at 1:1000 scale in February 1998 as part of RCHME's Exmoor Project. A full report has been deposited in the archive. (16 & 17)

The Iron Age hill-fort referred to above (1-20) is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs. The main fort enclosure is centred at SS 9176 4716 with the two outer ramparts to the north west which are centred at SS 9168 4718 and SS 9158 4729 respectively. The fort is as described above (16-17) and has been mapped using the available aerial photography. (21-22)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1962
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Earthwork of England : prehistoric, Roman, Saxon, Danish, Norman, and mediaeval
Source details :
Page(s) : 112-113
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : Problems of the Iron Age in southern Britain
Source details : (A Fox)
Page(s) : 58
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 12
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Hist & Ants of Somer (W Phelps)
Page(s) : 117
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1, 1836
Source Number : 13
Source : Hillfort and hill-top settlement in Somerset in the first to eighth centuries A.D.
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 91
Source Number : 14
Source : The archaeology of Exmoor : Bideford Bay to Bridgwater
Source details :
Page(s) : 79,84-5,201
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 15
Source : British Hillforts: an index
Source details :
Page(s) : 197
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 62
Source Number : 16
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : H Riley, R Wilson-North and P Wild 19 Feb 1998 RCHME Field Investigation
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 17
Source : Bury Castle, Selworthy,Somerset : an archaeological survey by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 18
Source : Bury Castle, Selworthy/ink survey
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 19
Source : Bury Castle, Selworthy/pencil survey
Source details :
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Source Number : 20
Source : Bury Castle, Selworthy
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 3
Source : Ordnance Survey map of southern Britain in the Iron Age
Source details :
Page(s) : 41
Figs. :
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Source Number : 21
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF/106G/UK/1655 3015-3016 11-JUL-1946
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 22
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/79013 161-162 17-APR-1979
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : List Anc Mon Eng & Wales 1961 82 (M O W)
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : The Victoria history Somerset, volume two
Source details :
Page(s) : 499-500
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2, 1911
Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 GHP 21-JUL-65
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Ancient Ewks & Camps of Somer 1924 plan illus (E J Burrow)
Page(s) : 72-3
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings
Source details : (C Whybrow) plan
Page(s) : 11-Dec
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 25, 1967
Source Number : 9
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:10000 1974
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 10
Source : Hillforts of the Iron Age in England and Wales : a survey of the surface evidence
Source details :
Page(s) : 206
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Enclosure, Cross Dyke, Rampart, Multivallate Hillfort, Ditch
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33985
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 24025
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 94 NW 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 94 NW 2
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1965-07-21
End Date : 1965-07-21
Associated Activities : Primary, GLOUCESTERSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL: SEVERN ESTUARY NMP, RAPID COASTAL ZONE ASSESSMENT SURVEY
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2006-04-10
End Date : 2008-11-01