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HER Number:MDV11687
Name:Peppercombe Castle, Parkham

Summary

Peppercombe Castle an Iron Age promontory fort relying on almost vertical cliffs for its northern and western defences. Earthworks ascribed to the Hillfort are visible on Lidar images acquired from 2003 to 2009.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 379 240
Map Sheet:SS32SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishParkham
DistrictTorridge
Ecclesiastical ParishUNKNOWN

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Peppercombe Castle. Iron Age promontory fort at Castle Point

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS32SE/10

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Ordnance Survey, Untitled Source (Cartographic). SDV340059.

Shown in plan and section


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1954 - 1977, SS42SW7 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV7698.

Peppercombe Castle. Promontory fort which relies on almost vertical cliffs for its northern and western defences. East side is weak and only defence is a fairly steep natural slope to east and north east. Defence completed by strong bank in south. It has been mutilated by erection of modern field bank upon it, and by cultivation. Ground rises steeply to south outside this bank and thus creates a wide natural ditch. Southern side is logical one for an entrance. But if one existed here it has been mutilated out of recognition. A covered way running approx north to south has a wide deep ditch to the south-east and strong bank to north west, it appears to wend its way to the beach. And continues within the protection of the fort. Interior is in process of being cleared for cultivation. No definite habitation sites found. The ground is uneven.


1978, Untitled Source (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV340060.

A curvilinear bank extends across the neck of the promontory, terminating at the cliffs at both ends. The bank is 5 to 8 meters wide and 1 meter high; the ditch, rock-cut, is 6 meters wide and 1 meter deep, with a causeway near the northern end. Cliff-slip has reduced the enclosed area to 50 meters by 30 meters. A "bank" along the west side seems unlikely to be original. The precise form of the original work is impossible to assess, but it seems probable that it is a defended settlement or enclosure of iron age date.


Hogg, A. H. A., 1979, British Hillforts: An Index (Monograph). SDV7953.


Devon County Council, 1999, DAP/ACF, 5-7 (Aerial Photograph). SDV340061.


Environment Agency, 2003, LiDAR data JPEG image (2 metre resolution), LIDAR SS3622 Environment Agency D0026896 15-MAR-2003 (Cartographic). SDV349324.

The promontory fort earthworks are visible.


Environment Agency, 2003, LiDAR data JPEG image (2 metre resolution), LIDAR SS3624 Environment Agency D0026897 15-MAR-2003 (Cartographic). SDV349324.

The promontory fort earthworks are visible.


Environment Agency, 2003, LiDAR data JPEG image (2 metre resolution), LIDAR SS3824 Environment Agency D0026899 15-MAR-2003 (Cartographic). SDV349324.

The promontory fort earthworks are visible.


Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J., 2007, The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report, 105 (Report - Assessment). SDV339712.


Environment Agency, 2008, LiDAR data JPEG image (1 metre resolution), LIDAR SS3622 Environment Agency D0091160 10-FEB-2008 (Cartographic). SDV349374.

The promontory fort earthworks are visible.


Environment Agency, 2008, LiDAR data JPEG image (1 metre resolution), LIDAR SS3624 Environment Agency D0091161 10-FEB-2008 (Cartographic). SDV349374.

The promontory fort earthworks are visible.


Environment Agency, 2008, LiDAR data JPEG image (1 metre resolution), LIDAR SS3824 Environment Agency D0091164 10-FEB-2008 (Cartographic). SDV349374.

The promontory fort earthworks are visible.


Environment Agency, 2011, LIDAR data JPEG images (2 metre resolution) (Cartographic). SDV348634.

The ditches and banks ascribed to the Promontory Hillfort of Peppecombe Castle are clearly visible on images derived from Lidar data. Due to the non-interactive and neavily processed nature of these images, this source must be interpreted with caution.


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

The ditches and banks ascribed to the promontory hillfort of Peppecombe Castle are not clearly visible on any aerial photographs available to the survey, but are clearly defined on images derived from Lidar data captured in 2003, 2008 and 2009. Due to the non-interactive and processed nature of these images, they must be interpreted with caution. The images have been interpreted as showing a southern ditch approaching 290 metres in length and a shorter northern ditch crossing above the coastal cliffs for at least 50 metres, defining the north-western extent of the monument. No internal features interpreted as possibly contemporary with the hillfort ditches are visible, but evidence of strip fields within the enclosed area indicated the interior has been cultivated since at least the medieval period.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV339712Report - Assessment: Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J.. 2007. The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report. Exeter Archaeology Report. 06.22 (rev.1). A4 Stapled + Digital. 105.
SDV340059Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. SS32SE4. Map (Paper).
SDV340060Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: 1978. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV340061Aerial Photograph: Devon County Council. 1999. DAP/ACF. Photograph (Paper). 5-7.
SDV348634Cartographic: Environment Agency. 2011. LIDAR data JPEG images (2 metre resolution). Digital.
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
SDV349324Cartographic: Environment Agency. 2003. LiDAR data JPEG image (2 metre resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SS3624 Environment Agency D0026897 15-MAR-2003.
SDV349374Cartographic: Environment Agency. 2008. LiDAR data JPEG image (1 metre resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SS3622 Environment Agency D0091160 10-FEB-2008.
SDV7698Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1954 - 1977. SS42SW7. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV7953Monograph: Hogg, A. H. A.. 1979. British Hillforts: An Index. British Hill-forts: An Index. 62. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV102277Related to: Relict strip-field boundaries at Castle Point, Parkham (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

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

Date Last Edited:Jul 22 2015 12:19PM