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Historic England Research Records

Longwood

Hob Uid: 36926
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Carhampton
Grid Ref : SS9812040380
Summary : A sub circular univallate hillslope enclosure, probably of Iron Age date, is visible on aerial photographs and at ground level as an earthwork within the conifer plantation of Long Wood, Carhampton. It is defined by an earth and stone bank constructed from spoil excavated from an external ditch. Three platforms are visible within the enclosure, possibly stances for buildings.
More information : Taunton Museum 6" notes a "circular earthwork above Long Wood, Timberscombe. This is depicted on Savage's map but is not mentioned in the text.

It is a circular enclosure formed by a bank with a strong outer ditch situated at SS 98134038 on a slight NE slope on the tip of the steep Long Coombe valley. There is an original causewayed entrance gap in the SW, and a possibly modern gap in the NE. It is smaller than the Gallox Hill earthwork (SS 94 SE 4) but comes within the category of the Quantocks - Exmoor hill slope enclosures of presumed Iron Age date.

The earthwork is in a conifer plantation, but the interior has been
planted with beech trees. Surveyed at 1:2500. (1)

(SS 98134038) Earthwork (NR) (2)

SS 981403. Iron Age unvallate hillslope enclosure on Croydon Hill. The interior slopes down to the south east and the earthworks have been damaged by forestry. (Visited by Burrow 4 APR 1973). (3,4)

SS 98124038. A sub-circular, univallate hillslope enclosure located in Long Wood about 3.5kms south-west of Dunster.

Longwood enclosure (also known as Long Wood Enclosure (5a), or as Croydon Hill hillslope enclosure (3)), lies on a slight shelf at about 280m above OD, on the southern end of a stream-flanked spur leading from Croydon Hill north-eastwards to Longcombe Hill. This spur is covered by a coniferous plantation owned by the Crown Estate. The enclosure is not shown on the 1840 Tithe Map (5b), but the area is named as `Broadwood Common' although the land use is unspecified. In 1887 the Ordnance Survey map (5c) shows that the vegitation was rough pasture and brushwood which by 1902 (5d) had become decidous woodland. By 1965 (1) this woodland had been felled and the area planted with conifers. By 1988 (5e) the enclosure was still under woodland although the area broadly to the west had been cleared and ploughed. Since then the site has been cleared exposing the heather and turf-covered enclosure, and the surrounding area has been re-planted again with conifers which are presently 0.9m high.

From the north-west, eastwards around to the north-east, the enclosure commands excellent distant views across the Bristol Channel to the South Wales coast. The rising ground of Croydon Hill restricts the view to the south-west and elsewhere the visibility is limited by trees. A metalled forestry track now skirts the east side of the earthwork and a lesser used vehicle track cuts across it from the north-east to the south-west.

The sub-circular enclosure is formed by an earth and stone bank constructed from spoil excavated from an external ditch.

The enclosure bank is best preserved in the south-west where it is about 6.5m wide with its top some 1.9m high above the bottom of the ditch. The inner scarp here has a maximum height of 1.6m. In the south the bank turns more sharply forming a right angle. Around the eastern lower side the bank is not so prominent, probably due to silting from hillwash and its inner scarp is almost buried. It is partly eroded in places revealing an earth and stone core.

Although silted, the ditch is well-defined. It is generally about 4m wide and 1m deep, and has a flat bottom about 1.8m wide.

The ditch has a low ill-defined counterscarp bank, about 3m wide and 0.3m high, around the northern periphery. Its top stands a maximum of 1.3m above the base ofthe ditch and it is best seen around the break in the north-east. In the east the forestry track has encroached on the ditch largely destroying the counterscarp and leaving only slight vestiges to the east.

There are two breaks in the enclosure bank. In the south-west side a gap in the bank, 2.7m wide with well-formed terminals, lies opposite a causeway across the ditch, 4.8m wide and 0.5m high. Although unusually situated on the uphill side of the earthwork this is most probably the original entrance. In the north-east, material from a break, about 4m wide, has ben used to fill the ditch unevenly obscuring its out scarp. The outer face ofthe counterscarp bank, although ill-defined, is clearly unbroken across this break which suggests that it is a later feature.

The gently sloping interior of the enclosure measures some 40m in diameter, an area of some 0.15ha. Although cleared it contains several tree stumps which also obscure parts of the ditch and counterscarp bank. Within the upper western side are three platforms, possibly stances for buildings, formed by crescentic scarps respectively 20m, 15m and 10m long and up to 0.5m high. Skirting the inner scarp of the bank around the eastern side are three amorphous areas of loose stones; one either side of the modern break and one near the south corner. They may have been caused by the tree felling operations but could possibly indicate sites of structures contemporaneous with the earthwork.

Hillslope enclosures of this type are a feature of this area and are generally attributed to the Iron Age. However, this dating is somewhat tenous sites in the area include Bat's Castle (SS 94 SE 13) some 2kms to the north with its companion site on Gallas Hill (SS 94 SE 4). There is also the recently discovered enclosure in Timberscombe Wood (SS 94 SE 90) about 2.5kms to the west. (5)

The enclosure described above was visible on several oblique photographs examined as part of the Exmoor National Park National Mapping Programme in 2008 (6).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Miss M Hatch-Barnwell New House The Parks Minehead
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Source Number : 2
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 NVQ 27-JUL-65
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Source Number : 11
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1902 1:2500
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Source Number : 12
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : AP 1988 65/88/138 Exmoor House Dulverton
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Source Number : 13
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : RCHME Field Investigation 07-DEC-1994 HP Chapman
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Source Number : 14
Source : Longwood Enclosure/ink survey
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Source Number : 15
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SS 9840/21 (21105/02) 09-FEB-2001
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Source Number : 3
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:10000 1974
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Hist of the Hundred of Carhampton 1830 map (J Savage)
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Source Number : 5
Source : The archaeology of Exmoor : Bideford Bay to Bridgwater
Source details :
Page(s) : 87,201
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Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Exploration of Exmoor 1890 203 (J L W Page)
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Source Number : 7
Source : Hillfort and hill-top settlement in Somerset in the first to eighth centuries A.D.
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Vol(s) : 91, 1981
Source Number : 8
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Longwood on site information board
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Source Number : 9
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Carhampton Tithe Map 1840 Somerset Record Office
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Source Number : 10
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1887 1:2500
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Enclosed Settlement
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 22446
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33446
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 24016
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MSO9087
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 94 SE 27
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 94 SE 27
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1965-07-27
End Date : 1965-07-27
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 94 SE 27
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1994-12-07
End Date : 1994-12-07
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01