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HER Number:MDV11391
Name:Hawkesdown Camp

Summary

Large prehistoric univallate hillfort overlooking the upper estuary of the River Axe. The earthwork banks and ditches are more clearly visible on images derived from Lidar data flown between 1998 and 2007 than on the available aerial photographic resource, due to tree cover.

Location

Grid Reference:SY 262 914
Map Sheet:SY29SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAxmouth
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishAXMOUTH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 449621
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY29SE/31
  • Old SAM County Ref: 88
  • Old SAM Ref: 29640

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HILLFORT (Iron Age - 700 BC to 42 AD (Between))

Full description

Woollcombe, H., 1839-1850, Woollcombe Manuscript (Un-published). SDV16214.

Visited in 1833 and 1843. Plan of triple ramparts. Under cultivation 1833.


Hutchinson, P. O., 1848-1894, Diaries (Un-published). SDV339321.

Entry for 27th April 1863.


Pulman, G. P. R., 1865, The Book of the Axe, 870-1 (Monograph). SDV124122.

Other details: Plan.


Hutchinson, P. O., 1868, On Hill Fortresses, Sling-Stones, and other Antiquities in South Eastern Devon, 378-379 (Article in Serial). SDV120058.

Visit to Hawkesdown Camp found a heap of rough flints at the southeast corner, apparently field clearance heap. Original entrance probably in northwest, where there is still a steep path outside. Beyond the east end there is a hedge running across the ridge of the hill which may occupy the place of an old outwork. Many slingstones scattered about.


Kirwan, R., 1871, The Prehistoric Archaeology of East Devon, 648 (Article in Serial). SDV135842.

Hawkesdon or Hocksdon Castle, Axmouth. Formed by a triple vallum with a fosse, enclosing an area of about 280 metres east-west, and 140 metres north-south. Davidson mentions a tradition that great treasure was found here by a sailor called Courd.


Wall, J. C., 1906, Ancient Earthworks, 580 (Article in Monograph). SDV341465.

Other details: Plan.


Ministry of Works, 1924, Hawkesdown Camp (Axmouth Parish) (Schedule Document). SDV340261.

On the crown of the hill east of the road from Axmouth to Musbury overlooking the estuary of the Axe, north of the village of Axmouth. A roughly rectangular camp about 280 yards from east to west and about 150 yards from north to south. Defended by agger and fosse. Much overgrown by bushes and trees.


Anon, 1933, Proceedings at the Seventy-Second Annual Meeting, 80 (Article in Serial). SDV340264.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1412, RAF/106G/UK/1412 RP 3357-3358 13-APR-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352504.

The ramparts are visible in parts as earthworks, although much is obscured by tree or scrub cover.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953 - 1980, SY29SE3 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV340265.


Griffith, F. M. + Robinson, R., 1983, Hawkesdown Camp (Worksheet). SDV340262.

Visited 31st October 1983. Field notes to site visit recorded on plan. The hint of an outer enclosure suggested by Ordnance Survey use of hachures on map is not borne out in the field. Site currently under forestry and intensively used for pheasant rearing. Some clearance of vegetation proposed, for benefit of shoot. Other details: Annotated plan.


Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/Y, 5a (Aerial Photograph). SDV120087.


Parkinson, M., 1985, The Axe Estuary and its Marshes, 20 (Article in Serial). SDV122290.

Parkinson suggests that the hillforts of Hawkesdown, Musbury and Seaton Down were used both to reinforce a tribal boundary, formed by The Axe estuary, and to defend against invaders from the sea, via the estuary.


Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/HG, 10 (Aerial Photograph). SDV120096.


Unknown, 1986, Hawksdown Hill Camp near Colyford (Worksheet). SDV358944.

Extract from Hutchinson's diary for 27 April 1863


Robinson, R., 1986, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1986 (Un-published). SDV345664.


Robinson, R., 1986, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1986 (Un-published). SDV345664.


Fox, A., 1996, Prehistoric Hillforts in Devon, 35 (Monograph). SDV7958.


Salvatore, J. P., 1997, Hawkesdown Camp, 144391 (Un-published). SDV340260.

Hillfort with a defended area of about 2.5 hectares now mostly covered in woodland. The site is in a commanding position at the west end of a long spur which overlooks the upper estuary of the River Axe and it has steep natural defences on all sides but the east. It was first described by Davidson and later by Hutchinson and Wall. The defences comprise a single ditch, which lies between an inner rampart and an outer bank and by an eastern outwork. The roughly rectangular interior of the hillfort is about 250 meters east-west with a width of about 100 meters. It is defended by a rampart, which survives 4 meters high in places, surrounded by a ditch over 2 meters deep with a counterscarp bank on the outer lip of the ditch over much of the circuit. The dimensions of all of these features are somewhat greater on the less well naturally defended eastern side where the ditch is in places 6 meters deep. Although Hutchinson suggested that the original entrance was on the northwest, Fox has stated that it was at the southeast angle facing the only level approach from the east. Here the ditches terminate and the end of the eastern rampart is expanded. The discovery of Roman lead sling bullets (glandis) in the area of the eastern defences suggests the possibility of an attack during the Roman invasion period or the later use of the abandoned site as target practice for Roman artillery units perhaps based at the nearby Roman fort of Woodbury. Hutchinson reported the presence of native sling stones.


1997, Untitled Source (Ground Photograph). SDV340266.


Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1998, Hawkesdown Camp and Associated Outwork (Schedule Document). SDV340259.

Hawkesdown Camp includes a large Prehistoric univallate hillfort with a defended area of about 2.5 hectares fronted to the east by an outwork. The site is in a commanding position at the western end of a long spur which overlooks the upper estuary of the River Axe on its eastern bank and it has steep natural defences on all sides but the east.The roughly rectangular interior of the hillfort is about 250 metres in lengh east-west with a width of about 100 metres.The natural defensive qualities of the site are complemented by a rampart, which survives 4 metres high in places, surrounded by a 'U' shaped ditch over 2 metres deep with a counterscarp bank on the outer lip of the ditch.The main entrance was at the south-east angle facing the only level approach from the east. An outwork which perhaps defended an outer enclosure lies 100 metres beyond the eastern defensive circuit and survives as a bank 17.8 metres wide and 0.4 metres high.


Environment Agency, 1998-2007, Lidar data JPEG SY29SE DTM, LIDAR SY29SE DTM Environment Agency 1998-2007 (Cartographic). SDV356419.

The earthwork rampart banks and ditches are clearly visible.


Cobley, G. P., 2002, Musbury Castle (Un-published). SDV338764.


Exeter Archaeology, 2003-2004, East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey, Site No. 1277 (Archive - Survey). SDV351568.

Hawkesdown Camp, Axmouth. Hillfort at western end of spur overlooking estuary. Interior c. 250m E/W x 100m. Defended by rampart, ditch and counterscarp bank. Separate bank c. 100m to east (see site 1278) believed to be associated outwork . Scheduled Monument.
SMR.


English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009: South West, 95 (Report - non-specific). SDV342694.

Generally satisfactory condition, but with significant localised problems.


English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010: South West, 86 (Report - non-specific). SDV344777.

Stable condition, principal vulnerability forestry.


English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West, 88 (Report - non-specific). SDV355280.

Generally satisfactory but with significant localised problems. Principal vulnerability forestry.


Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2013-2014, South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV351146.

The earthwork banks and ditches of Hawkesdown Camp are more clearly visible on images derived from Lidar data flown between 1998 and 2007 than on the available aerial photographic resource, due to tree cover. A bank is visible around the periphery of the hillfort, with an external ditch and bank visible on the south and east sides; the defences on the east side are most substantial covering approximately 45 metres in total width on this flatter land on the top of the plateau. Approximately 60 metres to the east the bank of the outwork is also visible, and is separately recorded as MDV58272.


Tilley, C., 2017, Landscape in the Longue Durée, 299-319, tables 9.1-9.5, figs 9.7-9.17 (Monograph). SDV361032.

Discussion of Woodbury Castle and the other hillforts in the locality, making reference to the East Devon pebblebeds.


Unknown, 24/01/1984, Hocksdun or Hawksdown or Hendown Fort (Worksheet). SDV358946.

Extract from Woollcombe manuscript.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV120058Article in Serial: Hutchinson, P. O.. 1868. On Hill Fortresses, Sling-Stones, and other Antiquities in South Eastern Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 2 part 2. A5 Hardback. 378-379.
SDV120087Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/Y. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 5a.
SDV120096Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/HG. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 10.
SDV122290Article in Serial: Parkinson, M.. 1985. The Axe Estuary and its Marshes. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 117. A5 Paperback. 20.
SDV124122Monograph: Pulman, G. P. R.. 1865. The Book of the Axe. The Book of the Axe. Unknown. 870-1.
SDV135842Article in Serial: Kirwan, R.. 1871. The Prehistoric Archaeology of East Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 4. Unknown. 648.
SDV16214Un-published: Woollcombe, H.. 1839-1850. Woollcombe Manuscript. Manuscript.
SDV338764Un-published: Cobley, G. P.. 2002. Musbury Castle. Sidmouth College Project Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV339321Un-published: Hutchinson, P. O.. 1848-1894. Diaries. Devon Record Office Collection. Manuscript.
SDV340259Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1998. Hawkesdown Camp and Associated Outwork. The Schedule of Monuments. Letter.
SDV340260Un-published: Salvatore, J. P.. 1997. Hawkesdown Camp. Monument Protection Programme. Archaeological Item Dataset.. Digital. 144391.
SDV340261Schedule Document: Ministry of Works. 1924. Hawkesdown Camp (Axmouth Parish). The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV340262Worksheet: Griffith, F. M. + Robinson, R.. 1983. Hawkesdown Camp. Devon County Sites and Monuments Register. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV340264Article in Serial: Anon. 1933. Proceedings at the Seventy-Second Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 65. A5 Hardback. 80.
SDV340265Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953 - 1980. SY29SE3. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV340266Ground Photograph: 1997. Slide.
SDV341465Article in Monograph: Wall, J. C.. 1906. Ancient Earthworks. Victoria History of the County of Devon. Hardback Volume. 580.
SDV342694Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2009. Heritage at Risk Register 2009: South West. English Heritage Report. A4 Bound +Digital. 95.
SDV344777Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2010. Heritage at Risk Register 2010: South West. English Heritage Report. Digital. 86.
SDV345664Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1986. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1986. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
SDV351146Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2013-2014. South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV351568Archive - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2003-2004. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. Digital + Mixed Archive Material. Site No. 1277.
SDV352504Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1412. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/106G/UK/1412 RP 3357-3358 13-APR-1946.
SDV355280Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2011. Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West. english Heritage. Digital. 88.
SDV356419Cartographic: Environment Agency. 1998-2007. Lidar data JPEG SY29SE DTM. Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SY29SE DTM Environment Agency 1998-2007. [Mapped feature: #73236 ]
SDV358944Worksheet: Unknown. 1986. Hawksdown Hill Camp near Colyford. Devon County Sites and Monuments Register. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV358946Worksheet: Unknown. 24/01/1984. Hocksdun or Hawksdown or Hendown Fort. Devon County Sites and Monuments Register. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV361032Monograph: Tilley, C.. 2017. Landscape in the Longue Durée. Landscape in the Longue Durée. Digital. 299-319, tables 9.1-9.5, figs 9.7-9.17.
SDV7958Monograph: Fox, A.. 1996. Prehistoric Hillforts in Devon. Prehistoric Hillforts in Devon. Paperback Volume. 35.

Associated Monuments

MDV11392Related to: Hawkesdown Camp, Flake (Find Spot)
MDV11390Related to: Musbury Castle (Monument)
MDV58272Related to: Outwork at Hawkesdown Camp (Monument)
MDV14054Related to: Seaton Down Hillfort (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV1206 - FLAKE (Prehistoric - 698000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FDV1208 - SLING SHOT (Prehistoric - 698000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FDV1207 - SLING SHOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV6127 - Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme (NMP) for South-West England - South Coast Devon (Ref: ACD618)

Date Last Edited:Feb 14 2019 2:58PM