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HER Number:MDV102409
Name:Possible Civil War fortification south-west of Clovelly Dykes

Summary

A double bank is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs dating to 1978, possibly forming the north-east segment of an octagonal feature. The south-west segment appears to be defined by a modern field drain, and the north-west corner manifests as a pointed, although indistinct, cropmark. A possible outer ditch is visible as a cropmark on 1940s aerial photographs, and the evidence of nearby field names supports a possible military origin for this feature, as a Civil War fortification. The earthworks were seen on a site visit in 2012 and survival is potentially very good.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 306 226
Map Sheet:SS32SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishClovelly
DistrictTorridge
Ecclesiastical ParishCLOVELLY

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS32SW/21

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FORTIFICATION (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

T Woodmas & Co, Surveyors., 1840, Map of the Parish of Clovelly, Devon (Cartographic). SDV349395.

No features are depicted in this location.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/3G/TUD/UK/158, DCC RAF/TUD/UK/158 5076-5077 19-APR-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349143.

An indistinct dark cropmark aligned approximately east to west is visible. To the south-west, a probable field drain is visible, partway through installation. Map object partly based on this source.


Meridian Airmaps Limited, 1971, MAL/71031, NMR MAL/71031 004-005 28-APR-1971 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349075.

A double bank, possiby defining the north-east segment of an octagonal feature, is visible as an earthwork.


Next Perspectives, 2007, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:, Next Persepectives Tile Ref: SS3023 22-AUG-2007 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349178.

A pale irregular cropmark is visible east of an extant field boundary.


Hegarty, C. + Knight, S., 2011 - 2012, North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV349018.

A double bank is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs dating to 1978, possibly defining three sides - the north-east segment - of an octagonal feature. The outer bank appears to be steeper on its outer face than its inner, and is approximately twice as wide as the inner bank at 6 metres.
To the west, on the western side of an extant field boundary, is a pale cropmark and area of raised ground defined by a narrow linear ditch on the south-west side. The ditch is visible as an open trench with numerous adjacent piles of spoil on 1940s aerial photographs, and is probably a field drain partway through installation. It mirrors the shape of the earthworks in the north-east corner, and may have been installed along the base of the south-west corner of the feature. Also visible on the 1940s aerial photographs is a dark cropmark aligned approximately east to west at the northern periphery of the earthworks, perhaps having formed over a buried ditch.
Although no features are depicted here on the 1840 Tithe map, a field approximately 400 metres to the west is named ‘Becka Borough’, suggesting a fortified earthwork in this area. ‘Bloody Park’ field names south of Buck’s Cross, 4 kilometers to the east, relate to a Civil War skirmish; it is possible that the earthwork feature is a fortification, perhaps unfinished, of Civil War date. The cropmarks and irregular ground visible in the north-west corner form a pointed shape rather than conforming to an octagonal plan, and could potentially be the remains of a bastion.
On aerial photographs from 2007 a pale irregular cropmark is visible east of the extant field boundary, and cultivation lines define an area that conforms to the octagonal plan visible in earlier aerial photographs, suggesting that the earthworks were substantial and complete enough to be respected by modern agricultural activity. A site visit in 2012 confirmed the continued survival of the earthworks, although their shape in plan was difficult to determine from the roadside. An earthwork survey to record the exact form of the earthworks would help to establish their character, and geophysical investigations might also help to understand below-ground remains.


Hegarty, C. & Knight, S., 2012-2013, North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project site visit, 18-APR-2012 (Site Visit). SDV349357.

Earthworks were visible in this field, when viewed from the road, but it was not possible to determine their layout.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV349018Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S.. 2011 - 2012. North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. ACD383/2/1. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV349075Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1971. MAL/71031. Meridian Airmaps Limited Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR MAL/71031 004-005 28-APR-1971. [Mapped feature: #61861 ]
SDV349143Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/3G/TUD/UK/158. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DCC RAF/TUD/UK/158 5076-5077 19-APR-1946.
SDV349178Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2007. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Persepectives Tile Ref: SS3023 22-AUG-2007.
SDV349357Site Visit: Hegarty, C. & Knight, S.. 2012-2013. North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project site visit. ND AONB NMP. Digital. 18-APR-2012.
SDV349395Cartographic: T Woodmas & Co, Surveyors.. 1840. Map of the Parish of Clovelly, Devon. Tithe Map. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV75177Related to: Becka Borough, Clovelly (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6132 - North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty NMP Project

Date Last Edited:Feb 20 2013 3:20PM