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HER Number:MDV11500
Name:Iron pits on Dunkeswell common


Iron pits on dunkeswell common.


Grid Reference:ST 139 060
Map Sheet:ST10NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishDunkeswell
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishDUNKESWELL

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthworks and cropmarks of pits, part of extensive Roman and post-Roman open cast ironstone mines, 18th-19th century Laurel Walk and sites of structures associated with former WWII Dunkeswell airfield at Highwood

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: ST10NW/25
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • OPEN CAST MINE (Unknown date)

Full description

Hutchinson, P. O., 1868, On Hill Fortresses, Sling-Stones, and other Antiquities in South Eastern Devon, 382 (Article in Serial). SDV120058.

Iron pits occur on Dunkeswell Common. Although originally perpendicular they are now fallen in and have sloping sides. The smelting was performed elsewhere.

Hutchinson, P. O., 1872, Iron Pits, 49-50 (Article in Serial). SDV338417.

A large group of iron pits, about half a mile north of wolford lodge. Possibly the dunkeswell pits were worked by the monks of the abbey.

Downes, W., 1882, Chert Pits, 317 - 321 (Article in Serial). SDV338418.

Disagrees with hutchinson's conclusions regarding east devon iron pits, saying there is no real evidence of ironworking. Suggests the pits were dug to quarry chert for building material.

Harris, G. T., 1930, Iron Pits in East Devon, 39 - 40 (Article in Serial). SDV338415.

Harris in agreement with Downes.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1975 - 1980, ST10NW7 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV342119.

Visit 23/10/1975 According to Mr Pike (Farmer, the cedars, Dunkeswell) an area of about 20 hectares of Dunkeswell common land formerly existed to the north of Wolford Cross. This common reclaimed many years ago and now mainly under pasture. No surface features indicative of iron pits were noted during ground inspection.

Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit, 1992 - 1993, Blackdown Hills Survey Archive (Archive - Survey). SDV324187.

Visit 30/9/1992 by Simpson and Noble. No earthworks visible from gateways.

Walls, S., 2004, Enclosure Awards, an Ignored Landscape; a Case Study of the Blackdown Hills, 11 - 12 (Report - Survey). SDV342100.

Iron workings ignore field boundaries and roads and are pre-enclosure.

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. 382.
SDV324187Archive - Survey: Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit. 1992 - 1993. Blackdown Hills Survey Archive. Blackdown Hills Survey Archive. A4 Unbound.
SDV338415Article in Serial: Harris, G. T.. 1930. Iron Pits in East Devon. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 16. Unknown. 39 - 40.
SDV338417Article in Serial: Hutchinson, P. O.. 1872. Iron Pits. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 5. Unknown. 49-50.
SDV338418Article in Serial: Downes, W.. 1882. Chert Pits. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 14. Unknown. 317 - 321.
SDV342100Report - Survey: Walls, S.. 2004. Enclosure Awards, an Ignored Landscape; a Case Study of the Blackdown Hills. Exeter University Community Landscapes Project Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 11 - 12.
SDV342119Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1975 - 1980. ST10NW7. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.

Associated Monuments

MDV110229Part of: Open cast ironstone mines, from Black Down and North Hill, eastwards to Hill View Farm (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Aug 25 2017 10:20AM