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HER Number:MDV11705
Name:Castle at Higher Walland, Milton Damerel, Torridge


Site of a possible castle at Higher Walland. A castle field name is documented in the circa 1840s tithe apportionment and the 1880s Ordnance survey map depict a dashed oval area marked as Castle (Site of). This appears to coincide with the oval cropmark visible on the 1999-2000 aerial photograph which could indicate the extent of a bailey. There is little visible on the ground apart from a faint scarp. Although there is no historical record of a castle here, the site, a small flat-topped knoll, is considered to be a good defensive site.


Grid Reference:SS 400 113
Map Sheet:SS41SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishMilton Damerel
Ecclesiastical ParishMILTON DAMEREL

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS41SW/10
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS41SW2

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CASTLE? (Medieval - 1066 AD (Between) to 1539 AD (Between))
  • MOTTE AND BAILEY? (Medieval - 1066 AD (Between) to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

South West Heritage Trust, 1838-1848, Digitised Tithe Maps and Transcribed Apportionments (Cartographic). SDV359954.

The field on the south side, tithe apportionment plot number 188, is named Castle and the field to the north, plot number 189, is named South Higher Great Close.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

The 1880s Ordnance Survey map show Castle (Site of) and a dashed oval line demarcating earthworks of a possible bailey.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

The early 20th century map show Castle (Site of) and a cross marking the location, the dashed line shown on earlier mapping is not shown.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1978, SS41SW2 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV12936.

Site visit: 16th November 1978. The indicated reference is on top of a small flat-topped grass-covered knoll which would have been a good site for a defensive work. However, there is little on the ground to suggest any kind of earthwork except on the east side where there is a faint and surveyable scarp of 0.2 metres height. No documentary evidence could be found to support the published entry except for the tithe map where the field is named Castle.

Higham, R. A., 1979, The Castles of Medieval Devon (Post-Graduate Thesis). SDV336189.

Higham, R. A., 1988, Devon Castles: An Annotated List, 146 (Article in Serial). SDV341278.

'Site of Castle' is recorded on Ordnance Survey maps but there is no evidence for a castle here.

GetMapping, 1999 - 2000, Millennium Map 1999-2000 Getmapping (Aerial Photograph). SDV321648.

The aerial image show an ephemeral oval cropmark in the same location as the demarcation dashed line shown on the late 19th century Ordnance Survey map. The cropmark may relate to the bailey.

Environment Agency WMS, 2020, Environment Agency LIDAR Composite DTM 2020 - 1m (Cartographic). SDV364513.

An oval earthwork is visible. The dashed line shown on the late 19th century map appears to more or less respect the earthwork.

Carroll, S., 2022, Cropmarks, Castle at Higher Walland, Milton Damerel, Torridge (Aerial Photograph). SDV365085.

Drone images show a semi-oval cropmark of the northern side of a possible bailey. A pair of linear cropmarks cross through the oval cropmark aligned southeast. There is local knowledge of a stone lined platform around the edge of the cropmark and a flat raised feature within the field.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV12936Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1978. SS41SW2. OSAD Card. Card Index + Digital.
SDV321648Aerial Photograph: GetMapping. 1999 - 2000. Millennium Map 1999-2000 Getmapping. Millennium Map. Photograph (Digital).
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #139159 ]
SDV336189Post-Graduate Thesis: Higham, R. A.. 1979. The Castles of Medieval Devon. University of Exeter Thesis. Unknown.
SDV341278Article in Serial: Higham, R. A.. 1988. Devon Castles: An Annotated List. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 46. Paperback Volume. 146.
SDV359954Cartographic: South West Heritage Trust. 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Maps and Transcribed Apportionments. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Digital.
SDV364513Cartographic: Environment Agency WMS. 2020. Environment Agency LIDAR Composite DTM 2020 - 1m. Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital.
SDV365085Aerial Photograph: Carroll, S.. 2022. Cropmarks, Castle at Higher Walland, Milton Damerel, Torridge. email.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Nov 17 2023 3:33PM