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Historic England Research Records

Ilton

Hob Uid: 444537
Location :
Devon
South Hams
Malborough
Grid Ref : SX7249040310
Summary : The earthwork remains of a deserted medieval settlement, a quadrangular castle, an associated garden and two fishponds.
More information : (SX 725404) Earthwork remains of a deserted Medieval settlement stretch for about 600 metres north-west of Ilton Castle Farm, along the slope running down to a stream. They consist of a series of rectangular platforms parallel to the valley bottom, and a number of banks at right angles to these platforms. The two most easterly fields are under 'permanent' pasture, the two westerly are under pasture but have suffered from ploughing. (1)

Visible on air photographs as described above. (2)

Ilton is Edetona or Eddetone in Domesday Book, and is recorded in various sources until 1374. (3)

SX 726404. A survey was made estimated 1978 of the earthworks, which also extend in the form of terraces into the fields east (downstream) of the scheduled area, by the Extra Mural Dept. of the Univ. of Exeter. Tracks, terraces, leats and platforms were identified, including a large flat terrace thought to be the site of "Ilton Castle". Parchmarks of possible stone foundations were also observed in 1976. (a) (27.10.82). (4)

Centred SX 72564042. These medieval settlement earthworks are situated on rising ground along the sheltered north side of a broad valley between Ilton Farm on high ground to the Southwest and Ilton Castle Farm in the valley floor to the Southeast. The site of approximately 6 hectares occupies four arable fields on Lower Devonian slates between 23m and 45m OD. It is bisected by a deep hollow-way, now a metalled road, and bordered on the south side by a small stream. The area in general is known as Ilton.

The best preserved, sharply defined, earthworks lie in a c. 1.0 hectare field centred at SX 72614045. The field was formerly an orchard so it has probably never been comprehensively ploughed although some damage occured when the trees were uprooted. Five linear scarps from 0.5m to 1.4m in height lie along the slope and two have marked angular deviations into the hillslope forming rectangular plots. The upper scarp has a slight, spread earthen bank along its top edge. The flat turf-covered terraces so formed are from 170m to 420m wide, generally featureless with no surface indications of stone or structues. In their present form they resemble field plots. The southern part of this field has been extensively disturbed, the stream has been culverted and its new straightened course is evident as a broad dry channel. The former sinuous course of the stream, the pond and the well, all depicted on the OS 1/2500 dated 1954, have been infilled. The area was used as an agricultural dump and a site for pig stys which would explain much of the surface stone and undulations.

The pasture field of c.1.5 hectares to the east (centred at SX72714051) has long been regularly ploughed (see APs (2)). Much of the surviving detail has been spread however the linear contour - following scarps and terraces, extensions of these to the west, are reasonably well defined. They average about 0.6m in height with the exception of one near vertical scarp up to 2.5m high; farm access tracks across the field have broken up the scarp lines in places. The farmer reported that very little surface stone was exposed when the field was ploughed even in the area centred SX 72744051 which he understood to be the site of Ilton Castle. (SX 74 SW 18).

The two fields to the west along the valley slope (centred at SX72494037 and SX 72374031) have also been regularly ploughed and cultivated. A major scarp upto 2.0m high along the uphill north side is in part at least a natural feature and three large scoops along the fairly steep slope could possibly have been formed by spring sapping. A number of low, spread earthen banks sub divide parts of the fields but the prominent features are three linear channels which run along the hillslope. Visible as sharply defined narrow channels on APs (2) they are evident on the ground as sinuous narrow terraces up to 0.7m wide resembling paths cut into the side of the slope. Presumably they have been ploughed down but they are almost certainly water channels used to convey stream water along the hillslope to irrigate the early spring pasture and they probably date from the mid 19th century. It is now difficult to discern an ordered field pattern on these steep undulating slopes.

Note: The 1/2500 AM is based on the Exeter University Extra Mural Dept 1/500 plan. Their report on the Ilton earthworks is forthcoming (not available for consultation) and how much or how little of the earthworks are attributed to the Manor House (SX 74 SW 18) is not
known. (5)

SX 7238 4029; SX 72684046. The earthwork remains of a deserted medieval settlement, a quadrangular castle, an associated garden and two fishponds. The western part of the settlement contains the earthworks of at least 13 small rectangular buildings. The eastern part lies on the north side of the valley and includes at least 3 small buildings and a hollow way. Cultivation terraces lie along the north and south sides of the site and several 18th century watermeadow leats cut across the earthworks, with a pond attached to one of them. The castle was documented in 1335 and stood on a terrace towards the east end of the site. A description of 1780 , made when the walls were demolished, states that it was sub-rectangular with square corner towers.

The earthwork terraces of an extensive formal garden lie to the east, west and north of the castle. 2 large fishponds once lay south of the castle site. One survives as an earthwork but the other is now buried beneath a modern farmstead. These ponds were used as an ornamental lake. Scheduled. (6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : DOE(IAM) Record Form 31.03.77
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Source Number : 2
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : APs (CPE/UK 1890 4038-9 10.12.46)
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Source Number : 3
Source : The place-names of Devon, part 1
Source details : EPNS 8 Place Names of Devon pt 1 1931 308 (J E B Gover A Mawer & F M Stenton)
Page(s) : 308
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Vol(s) : vol.8
Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Devon CC SMR South Hams print-out 18.10.85
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Source Number : 4a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Worksheet and sketch plan
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Source Number : 4b
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : 1/500 plan undated in SMR
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Source Number : 4c
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : DOE FMW visit 23.04.82 (Robinson)
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 MJF 27-JAN-87
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Source Number : 6
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : EH Scheduling amendment, 06-MAR-2002
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Deserted Settlement, Building Platform, Hollow Way, Cultivation Terrace, Leat, Pond
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Licenced 1335
Monument End Date : 1335
Monument Start Date : 1335
Monument Type : Quadrangular Castle
Evidence : Earthwork, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Formal Garden, Garden Terrace, Ornamental Pond, Fishpond
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Demolished 1785
Monument End Date : 1785
Monument Start Date : 1785
Monument Type : Quadrangular Castle
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SX 74 SW 038
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 33788
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SX 74 SW 23
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : RCHME: OS SWEEPS
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1983-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SX 74 SW 23
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1987-01-27
End Date : 1987-01-27