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HER Number:MDV10023
Name:Enclosures and Field System South-West of Alphington


A complex of dark linear and curvilinear cropmarks, visible on aerial photographs taken between 1963 and 1992, is interpreted as a later prehistoric or Roman period field system with two possible settlement enclosures and internal features.


Grid Reference:SX 910 897
Map Sheet:SX98NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishExeter
Civil ParishIde
Ecclesiastical ParishALPHINGTON

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Prehistoric enclosures, ring ditches and linears north east of Markham Farm

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 447930
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX98NW/14

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ENCLOSURE (Early Bronze Age to Roman - 2200 BC to 409 AD (Between))

Full description

DPRFP, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV262469.

Vis=1/2/1989 (robinson) field now cut by new link road. Enclosure site lies in slight hollow on a ridge. Tithe map shows 28 small fields in area, which accounts for many of the crop marks. Some small fields called 'garden' and 'nursery' do not seem quite to tally with the enclosure (dprfp).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV311417.


Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV311418.

Aph=cuc/bcv 39-41(3/7/1970)bts 41 in smr/plot by r. J. Silvester of bcv 39 in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV311419.


Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV311420.

Aph=dap/bz 1,2(13/7/1984).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV311421.

Des=dprfp 1989(and photo i 38).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV311422.

Aph=cuc/bny 9-10(3/7/1973)/bny 9 in smr.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV311423.

Aph=dap/ve 24-27(26/6/1992).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV311424.

Hall, m. E. P. /archaeological evaluation of a proposed development site adjoining the admiral vernon public house, chudleigh road, alphington/(1994)1(emafu report 94.49).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV311425.


Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV311426.

Aph=dap/qu 15/(28/5/1990).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV311427.

Aph=dap/rf 8/(4/6/1990).

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Untitled Source (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV24.

Vis=23/9/1982 (os) the cropmark is situated on a slight east slope at about 50m od, with the entrance gap on the lower side. The field is under plough and no trace of any earthwork or obvious occupation debris was seen. Possibly ia/rb.

BALKWILL, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV44259.

Sobey's farm. Cuc air photograph bcv 39. Shows enclosure with entrance, two sides straight two sides curved. Linear ditches and other marks surround and overlie the enclosure. The tithe map shows the same field subdivided: some linear marks can be identified as hedge boundaries. The central disturbed area in the photograph (bcv 39) is the site of small gardens on the tithe map. The central enclosure is apparently earlier and not shown on the map (balkwill).

Griffith, F. M., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV8774.

On cuc photo bts 41 the fan-shaped enclosure appears very thick and definite, and other features appear to be on at least three different alignments (griffith).

Royal Air Force, 1963, RAF/543/2332 2F22, RAF/543/2332 2F22 0055-0056 26-Jul-1963 (Aerial Photograph). SDV358398.

A complex of dark curvilinear cropmarks is visible.

Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photography, 1970, CUCAP BCV, Devon County Council CUCAP BCV39 03-JUL-1970 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349635.

A complex of linear and curvilinear cropmarks is visible. Map object partly based on this source.

Cambridge University, 1975, CUCAP BTS, Devon County Council CUCAP BTS041 03-JUL-1975 (Aerial Photograph). SDV2407.

Part of the field system and enclosures are clearly visible, although no cropmarks are visible in an area of bare ground and vehicle tracks in the centre of the photograph. Map object partly based on this source.

Devon County Council, 1992, DAP 14404, DAP 14404/24-25 26-JUN-1992 (VE) (Aerial Photograph). SDV358593.

A complex of dark linear and curvilinear cropmarks is visible, although none are visible within the footprint of the 1975 works compound.

Jones, P., 2009 - 2010, Archaeological Monitoring and Recording at Markham Farm, Ide, Devon (Report - Watching Brief). SDV344625.

Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2014-2015, East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV356883.

A complex of dark linear and curvilinear cropmarks is visible on specialist oblique aerial photographs taken between 1973 and 1992, and indistinctly on vertical aerial photographs taken in the summer of 1963.
A number of the cropmarks correspond to field boundaries of probable medieval origin depicted on the Tithe Map. These have not been transcribed, with the exception of one segment aligned north-east to south-west at SX9110689877; this is contiguous with a dark straight linear cropmark that does not appear to be marked on any of the available historic maps. However the majority of the cropmarks appear to form a coherent field system on a different and presumably earlier alignment to the medieval pattern; these are considered likely to have a later prehistoric or Roman date and to survive as infilled buried ditches.
Most of the cropmarks are narrow, less than 2 metres in width, but a fan shaped probable enclosure centred at SX9100689771, and another rectilinear enclosure possibly appended onto it at SX9101089820, appear more substantial with cropmarks of variable width but measuring up to 5 metres across. Entrances to both seem to have been in the south-east sides, with gaps of 4 to 7 metres. Dark irregular cropmarks between 5 and 7 metres across within the fan-shaped enclosure may also indicate buried cut features such as building platforms or working areas/quarries. The enclosures fit into the overall pattern and may have been contemporary with the early field system. A narrow linear that appears to cut across the rectilinear enclosure may have formed over a ditch belonging to a subsequent phase of activity.
To the south of the enclosures two possible pits, 2 to 3 metres across, have been transcribed where well-defined subcircular cropmarks were observed, although these were only clearly visible on a single run of aerial photographs taken in July 1975. South-west of these, two apparently conjoined rings of higher crops were visible on aerial photographs taken in July 1970, each ring circa 12 metres in diameter.
Part of this cropmark-rich area was impacted during construction of the A30. In addition to the area destroyed by the cut for the road, a rectangular area of bare (possibly topsoil stripped) earth with vehicle tracks is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1975, circa 140 by 300 metres and centred at SX9106589724. It is likely that this works compound partly destroyed some of the remains, including the southern part of the fan-shaped enclosure, as no cropmarks are visible within its footprint on subsequent aerial photographs.
The small number of control points may have resulted in some inaccuracy of transcription locations.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV24Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV2407Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1975. CUCAP BTS. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). Devon County Council CUCAP BTS041 03-JUL-1975.
SDV262469Migrated Record: DPRFP.
SDV311417Aerial Photograph:
SDV311418Aerial Photograph:
SDV311419Migrated Record:
SDV311420Aerial Photograph:
SDV311421Migrated Record:
SDV311422Aerial Photograph:
SDV311423Aerial Photograph:
SDV311424Migrated Record:
SDV311425Aerial Photograph:
SDV311426Aerial Photograph:
SDV311427Aerial Photograph:
SDV344625Report - Watching Brief: Jones, P.. 2009 - 2010. Archaeological Monitoring and Recording at Markham Farm, Ide, Devon. Exeter Archaeology Report. EA 7115. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV349635Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photography. 1970. CUCAP BCV. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photography. Photograph (Paper). Devon County Council CUCAP BCV39 03-JUL-1970.
SDV356883Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV358398Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1963. RAF/543/2332 2F22. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/543/2332 2F22 0055-0056 26-Jul-1963.
SDV358593Aerial Photograph: Devon County Council. 1992. DAP 14404. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DAP 14404/24-25 26-JUN-1992 (VE).
SDV44259Migrated Record: BALKWILL.
SDV8774Migrated Record: Griffith, F. M..

Associated Monuments

MDV10019Related to: Mulberries (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4717 - Archaeological Monitoring at Markham Farm, Ide
  • EDV6530 - The East and Mid-Devon Rivers Catchment NMP project (Ref: ACD613)

Date Last Edited:Dec 2 2015 10:42AM