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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 910070

Hob Uid: 910070
Location :
Devon
North Devon
Parracombe
Grid Ref : SS6869044330
Summary : The slight earthwork remains of an oval enclosure and several well preserved lynchet are visible north of Higher Holworthy, Parracombe. The enclosure measures 43 metres by 34 metres and is bounded by low spread banks and may possibly contain a building platform. The lynchet immediately north of the enclosure is 0.9 metres high. The features most likely represent the remains of a prehistoric settlement or hillslope enclosure and associated field system.
More information : A feature recognised since 1952 and variously described in the Devon SMR. (1)

Centred at SS 68704433 are the slight earthwork remains of an oval enclosure with a well preserved lynchet running north-west to south-east from its southern end.

The enclosure, lying on south-west facing slopes, measures 43m by 34m. It is slightly terraced into the hillside at its upper end (by 0.4m), and correspondingly built out of the slope at its lower end (by 0.8m). Its north-western and south-eastern sides are defined by low spread banks, 7m wide, and better defined on their inner faces where they cut into the natural slope. An easing of the slopes at the southern corner may mark the site of an entrance.

Internally the enclosure is featureless, although a very tenuous levelled area at the northern or upper end (see plan) appears to represent a platform, probably for a building.

30m and 80m to the north-west are two marshy areas which may represent former natural springs, providing a local water supply.

A pronounced lynchet scarp runs north-west to south-east, where it curves and forms the southern end of the enclosure. It is sharply defined, 0.9m high and in places is topped with a slight stony bank. Its sharp preservation suggests that it has not been ploughed down, and that it may have persisted as a boundary until recent times. However, its proximity to the enclosure, and the way in which the lynchet scarp forms the southern end of the enclosure indicates that the two are contempory.

Surveyed at 1:1000 scale, 8th September, 1993. (2)

The enclosure is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1952 and in 1979, but has been severely reduced by ploughing. On the 1952 photograph, a second curvilinear bank is visible to the west of the main oval enclosure. This bank is similar in size and form to that of the main enclosure, and may represent the remains of a second enclosure.

This feature is described by Riley and Wilson-North as a "classic hillslope enclosure" and morphologically it is very similar to the enclosures at South Common, Parracombe. It seems likely that the features date to the later Prehistoric period, possibly the Iron Age. Additional lynchets visible downslope to the south of the enclosure (see NMR UID 1467805) may be associated with this monument, or may be medieval in origin (4-6).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Devon SMR No SS 64 SE21
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Source Number : 2
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Wilson-North WR 8-SEP-93, RCHME Field Investigation
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Source Number : 3
Source : Holworthy, SS 64 SE 55/ink survey
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Source Number : 4
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 540/931 3046-47 08-NOV-1952
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Source Number : 5
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SS6844/1/471 (SF1459) 01-MAR-1979
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Source Number : 6
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Riley, H and Wilson-North, R 2001 "The Field Archaeology of Exmoor" English Heritage, Swindon page(s) 71-72
Page(s) : 71-72
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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 : Oval Enclosure, Building Platform, Lynchet
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Later Prehistoric
Display Date : Later Prehistoric
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -4000
Monument Type : Oval Enclosure, Building Platform, Lynchet
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Uncertain
Display Date :
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Enclosure, Building Platform, Lynchet
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 2087
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MDE10889
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 64 SE 55
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1467805
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: WEST EXMOOR PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01