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HER Number:MDV108465
Name:Possible Henge within Playing Fields of Blundell’s School

Summary

Earthworks of an oval enclosure of a possible neolithic henge are visible as a banked feature on aerial photographs taken from 1946 onwards, within playing fields of Blundell’s School, Tiverton.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 976 132
Map Sheet:SS91SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTiverton
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTIVERTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HENGE (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2201 BC (Between))
  • OVAL ENCLOSURE (Early Neolithic to Roman - 4000 BC to 409 AD (Between))

Full description

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

A field boundary which bisects the earthworks is depicted on the Tiverton parish tithe map of approximately 1838-48.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1823, RAF/CPE/UK/1823 RP 3336-37 04-NOV-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354994.

The earthworks are visible as a banked feature with possible internal levelled area.

Environment Agency, 1998-2012, LiDAR DSM data JPEG image (1m resolution), LIDAR SS9713 Environment Agency JPEG DSM 19-DEC-2005 & 16-FEB-2012 (Cartographic). SDV357034.

The earthworks are visible as a banked feature with possible internal levelled area.

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

Earthworks of an oval enclosure are visible as a banked feature on aerial photographs taken from 1946 onwards, within playing fields of Blundell’s School, Tiverton. The enclosure measures approximately 83m in length by 79m in width and up to 20m thick. It encloses an internal area of approximately 0.16 hectares which has possibly been levelled. The earthworks are bisected by, and so predate, a northwest to southeast aligned field boundary of possible medieval date shown on the Tiverton parish tithe map of approximately 1838-48. The earthworks on the eastern side of this field boundary have, however, been subject to a greater degree of plough damage, although remain faintly visible. The character and form of the enclosure supports the interpretation that it is a possible neolithic henge. The earthworks remain visible on digital images derived from Lidar data captured between 2005 and 2012. Further field investigation, including a site visit and possible subsequent geophysical survey is strongly recommended.

Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2014-2015, East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project Site Visit (Site Visit). SDV357653.

A site visit carried out during 18-Dec-2014 confirmed the presence of the earthworks. Whilst subtly defined, the earthwork bank on the western side of the extant field boundary was visible as a low curvilinear earthwork which peters out to form a slight gap or entrance. Interestingly, the field boundary is significantly more pronounced where it intersects with the northern edge of the earthwork bank. Evidence of the earthworks to the east of the field boundary were, however, barely perceptible. The interior of the earthwork was also clearly visible as a slight hollow or levelled area. The function of these earthworks remain largely unclear, although clearly predate the field boundary which appears to be of medieval origin. Further work, principally geophysical survey, is strongly recommended.

Dean, R., 2016, Land at Blundell's School, Blundell's Road, Tiverton
Blundell's Road, Tiverton, Devon
(Report - Geophysical Survey). SDV359801.

This report was commissioned by the Devon County Council Environment Group to investigate earthworks located within the playing fields of Blundell’s School and recorded in Devon County Council Historic Environment Record entry MDV108465. The earthworks are visible as a banked feature on aerial photographs taken during and after 1946 and on digital images derived from LiDAR data captured between 2005 and 2012. A site visit carried out during December 2014 confirmed their presence and extent. The survey was designed to prospect the earthworks to contribute to the understanding of the monument and to inform its future management.

Both the magnetic and earth resistance responses were sufficient to be able to differentiate anomalies representing possible archaeological features. Six magnetic anomaly groups and eight earth resistance anomaly groups were identified as possibly representing archaeological deposits or features. Referring to Figure 2, four of these are disrupted curvilinear groups (g1, g2, r1 and r2) which coincide with the inner edge of the visible bank recorded as a potential monument in the Devon Historical Environment Record (entry MDV108465). It is likely that these anomalies represent a former inner ditch (g1 and r1) and an outer stony bank (g2 and r2). A further curvilinear resistance anomaly group, r3, may also reflect deposits or a structure associated with the earthwork bank. Each of these anomaly groups is relatively narrow when compared to the earthworks and a reason for the width of the mapped bank could not be found in either of the survey data sets. Neither could the earthworks be seen as a pattern of anomaly groups although this is not unusual in magnetometer and resistance surveys when the material comprising the earthworks is similar to the natural sub-soils and/or near-surface bedrock.

Two, and possibly four, anomaly groups (g3, r7 and possibly g5 and g6) may represent a curvilinear archaeological feature, possibly a ditch, on the southern edge of the mapped earthworks but not conforming to their extant shape.

One resistance anomaly (r8) coincides with a visible ditch associated with an extant field boundary of possible Medieval origins.

The remaining anomalies may represent archaeological deposits but may well reflect recent ground disturbance.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV354994Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1823. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1823 RP 3336-37 04-NOV-1946.
SDV356883Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
SDV357034Cartographic: Environment Agency. 1998-2012. LiDAR DSM data JPEG image (1m resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SS9713 Environment Agency JPEG DSM 19-DEC-2005 & 16-FEB-2012. [Mapped feature: #67835 ]
SDV357653Site Visit: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project Site Visit. AC Archaeology. Digital.
SDV359801Report - Geophysical Survey: Dean, R.. 2016. Land at Blundell's School, Blundell's Road, Tiverton Blundell's Road, Tiverton, Devon. Substrata. 1601BLU-R-1. Digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6530 - The East and Mid-Devon Rivers Catchment NMP project (Ref: ACD613)
  • EDV7087 - Gradiometer and Earth Resistance Survey, Blundell's Road, Tiverton (Ref: 1601BLU-R-1)
  • EDV4893 - Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Assessment, Tiverton

Date Last Edited:Feb 3 2020 7:44AM