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HER Number:MDV11870
Name:Civil War Redoubt on Staddon Hill, Northam

Summary

Site of a Civil War fieldwork on at Staddon Hill which was built in 1643 to command the waterways which it overlooks. A substantial linear bank and an irregularly shaped mound are visible on aerial photographs between the 1940s and 2010, although there is evidence of recent erosion, and these have been interpreted as the remains of the defences. However aerial survey has also identified a pale cropmark around the earthworks on aerial photographs taken in 1993. This is tentatively interpreted as forming over levelled bastions and ramparts. Geophysical surveys have confirmed the presence of buried archaeological deposits alongside the upstanding remains.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 461 306
Map Sheet:SS43SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNortham
DistrictTorridge
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTHAM

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Civil War fort on Staddon Hill, Appledore

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS43SE/15
  • Pastscape: 33345

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • REDOUBT (Built, XVII - 1643 AD to 1643 AD)

Full description

Untitled Source (Photograph). SDV340461.

Other details: Four Slides.

Polwhele, R., 1793-1806, The History of Devonshire, 305 (Monograph). SDV21030.

Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica, 50 (Monograph). SDV323771.

Unknown, 1838, Northam (Cartographic). SDV6499.

Part of the field is called Mount Field on the 19th century Tithe Apportionment.

Symonds, H., 1922 - 1923, Mints at Lundy Island and Combe Martin, 210 (Article in Serial). SDV3659.

Rogers, I., 1927, Barnstaple, Bideford and Torrington during the Civil War, 326 (Article in Serial). SDV13546.

Fort Hill probable site of Civil War fort. A small fort built at Appledore in 1643 was surrendered to Colonel Digby on 3rd September 1643. The fort commanded the Rivers Taw and Torridge.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1420, NMR RAF/106G/91420 3234-3235 15-APR-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349553.

A linear bank and an irregular mound are visible as earthworks. A compartmentalised structure is sited to the south of the bank.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953, SS43SE12 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV340455.

Fort Hill rises some 45.72 meters and commands an excellent view of the two rivers and their estuary. It may well be the site of the fort, though no remains are discernible on air photograph. The only earthwork on the hill is a mutilated mound with flattish top, on the summit. An earth bank extends north from the mount, and thence east, joining another earth bank.

Royal Air Force, 1964, F61 543, 42-43 (Aerial Photograph). SDV340459.

Other details: 2975.

Ordnance Survey, 1975, OS/75144, NMR OS/75144 113-114 24-MAY-1975 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349078.

The building has been removed.

Ordnance Survey, 1977, Untitled Source (Site Visit). SDV340462.

Timms, S. C., 1981, Site of Civil War Fort (Worksheet). SDV340456.

The mound and the bank on Staddon Hill may be the surviving remains of the Civil War fort described by Cotton in 1889. These earthworks which were noted by the Ordnance Survey on field visit in 1953, consist of a large mound circa 10 metres diameter and up to 2.2 meters high with a bank circa 5 metres wide and over 1 metre high, which runs from east to west across the field to the north of the mound. Pottery from the eroded face of the mound is dated to the 17th or 18th century. Adjacent surface depressions may be the remains of building foundations. A building shown on modern maps has been demolished. Other details: Sketch Plan.

Parry, H., 1981, Site of Civil War Fort, Staddon Hill, Appledore (Correspondence). SDV354781.

Good documentary evidence to suggest existence of a fort at Appledore during the Civial War period and local tradition located this fort on Staddon Hill, which has commanding views over the Taw-Torridge estuary. This location is supported by 1839 Admiralty chart which Councilor Somner has seen in the Appledore Maritime Museum. This chart shows Staddon Hill as 'Fort Hill'.

A visit to Staddon Hill in June 1981 although obscured by the growth of vegetation , a large mound and a massivce bank were clearly visible on the summit of Staddon Hill. Some pottery retrieved from the eroded face of the mound has been identified as North Devon ware of 17th or 18th century in date.

Although the earthworks do not have a regular or clearly identifiable plan it is quite possible that they represent the remains of the 17th century Civil War Fort. They appear to be quite similar to the larger defences of the Civil War Fort at Barnstaple which was destroyed by housing development in the 1960s.

Timms, S. C., 1981, Site of the Civil War Fort, Staddon Hill, Appledore (Correspondence). SDV352320.

There is good documentary evidence for the existence of a fort at Appledore during the Civil War period and local tradition located this fort on Staddon Hill. This location is supported by an 1839 Admiralty chart seen in the Appledore Maritime Museum which shows Staddon Hill as 'Fort Hill'.
Visited by Simon Timms and Councillor Sumner 23rd June 1981. Although the surface evidence was obscured by vegetation a large mound and massive bank were clearly visible on the summit of Staddon Hill. Adjacent surface depressions may be related. Some pottery retrieved from the eroded face of the mound has been identified as 17th- or 18th century North Devon ware.
The earthworks appear to be quite similar to the larger defences of the Civil War fort a Barnstaple which were destroyed by housing development in the 1960s. The Staddon Hill earthworks were taken to belong to the Civil War fort in 1889, when R. W. Cotton described the outline as 'evidently quadrangular with bastions at the angles, one of which, with traces of a revetment, is lolerable well-preserved'.

Timms, S. C., 1982, Untitled Source (Site Visit). SDV340463.

No additional features noted.

Geonex UK, 1993, 78/93, DCC Geonix/78/93 159-160 08-JUN-1993 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349900.

A pale cropmark is visible surrounding the earthwork bank and mound, with three or possibly four points to the north, east and west. Map object partly based on this source.

Gent, T. H., 1995, Archaeological Observations at Staddon Hill, Appledore (Report - Watching Brief). SDV340457.

A watching brief was carried out during groundworks for the construction of a stable on the site of the demolished building. An area of rough cobbling was revealed beneath 0.15-0.20 meters of topsoil. The west and south edges of cobbling were defined by a row of elongated stones set on their sides. The north edge was determined by a band of lime mortar. At 3 meters to the south of the northern edge, a row of elongated stones were set in a line at right angles to the western edge. The east edge was not revealed. A total area of 3.75 meters by 2.10 meters was exposed. Two sherds of post 17/18th century pot and a clay pipe stem were recovered from the interface between the topsoil and the cobbles. The cobbles may represent a surface to a south entrance to the fort. If this is the case, the low linear east to west bank observed at this point may be the the denuded remains of a southern defensive structure.

GetMapping, 1999, 113/99, DCC GM/113/99 0475-0476 27-JUL-1999 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349371.

A new building is visible south of the earthwork bank.

Carter, D., 2000, Illustrated History of Appledore, 30 (Monograph). SDV349897.

A French map dating to 1768 is illustrated, depicting a tower on the hill at Appledore. It is referenced 'Public Record Office'.

Preece, C., 2002, Untitled Source, 10 (Article in Serial). SDV340458.

Fort Hill is marked on Lieutenant Denham's chart recording the location of fish weirs in the Taw/Torridge estuary and dated 1832.

Carter, D., 2009, Illustrated History of Appledore 2: Its life and people., 137-138 (Monograph). SDV349880.

The fort at Appledore is described as quadrangular with bastions at the angles. No specific references are given.

Next Perspectives, 2010, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS4630 08-APR-2010 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349899.

The earthwork mound and part of the bank appears to be eroded. Map object partly based on this source.

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

A linear bank aligned roughly east to west and approximately 5 metres in width, and an irregularly shaped mound approximately 9 metres in diameter to the south of its east end are visible on aerial photographs between the 1940s and 2010. Artefacts of seventeenth or eighteenth century date have been recovered from the earthworks and they have been interpreted as the remains of the 1943 Civil War fort at Staddon Hill, and they are too substantial to plausibly be interpreted as the remains of a hedgebank. Although the earthworks survive they have been impacted by the construction of farm buildings as well as from recent erosion. A pale cropmark is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1993 to the east, north and west of the earthworks, approximately 175 metres from east to west. Although it is indistinct in places due to vegetation growth there are several clear edges defining triangular areas that are similar to the ground plan of bastions, particularly to the east and west of the earthworks. Carter states that the fort at Staddon Hill was quadrangular with bastions at the angles, which supports an interpretation of the cropmarks as forming over the ploughed out remains of bastion ramparts. However caution must be applied in interpretation since the cropmark is visible only on a single run of photographs. Further work is recommended to clarify the character and extent of any below ground remains; geophysical survey would be an appropriate first stage. Carter also reproduces a mid eighteenth century map depicting a tower above Appledore, possibly in this location, but no definite evidence of a tower is visible on aerial photographs.

Historic England, 2018, Notification of Outcome of Designation Application (Correspondence). SDV362726.

Historic England received an application to consider the possible remains of a C17 English Civil War fort at Staddon Hill, Appledore for scheduling. Having considered the application and completed an assessment of the monument on the material provided it has been decided not to add the fort to the Schedule of Monuments at this time.
HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION
There is documentary evidence since at least the mid-C18 for the existence of defensive position at Appledore during the First English Civil War (1642-1646). Local tradition locates the fort on Staddon Hill, an elevated position to the north-west of the town centre which has good views across the estuary of the Rivers Taw and Torridge. The fort is understood to have been built by Parliamentarian forces in around 1643, before being taken by Royalists that same year. It was retaken by Parliamentarians in 1646. A recent publication on the history of Appledore (Carter, 2009) suggests that the fort had a quadrangular plan with corner bastions, and was probably built by Major General Chudleigh who also built Chudleigh Fort at Bideford (listed Grade II). Carter also states that the Staddon Hill site was reused during the Napoleonic Wars in the early C19 as a naval battery consisting of six 18-pound guns. A French map dating to 1768 (Carter, 2009) depicts a tower on a hill believed to be Staddon Hill and an early-C19 Admiralty chart marks Staddon Hill as Fort Hill. The Appledore Tithe Apportionment (1840s) names part of the hill as Mount Field. A linear earthwork running at 90 degrees to a field boundary on Staddon Hill is depicted on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map (1888) with an agricultural building (not extant) built against its east end. A faint cropmark is also visible on aerial photographs taken in 1993 and has been interpreted as possibly the levelled remains of part of the boundary of the fort. In the mid-C20 a housing estate was built on the south side of Staddon Hill. In the late C20 an archaeological watching brief carried out when a small stable was built on part of the site recovered two C17 or C18 sherds of pottery.
The site was assessed as part of the North Devon AONB National Mapping Programme (NMP, 2011) which studied aerial photographs from between 1940 and 2010 and lidar-derived images. The NMP noted that the linear bank is too substantial to be the remains of a hedge bank, but that it has been impacted on by the construction of farm buildings and recent erosion. It also records the location of the 1993 cropmark, highlighting its possible association with the fort; but considered that further investigative work would be required to determine the extent and character of any below ground remains. In addition it noted that there is no definite aerial photographic evidence for the tower shown on the mid-C18 French map.
The earthwork remains on Staddon Hill consist of a linear bank, approximately 5m wide and aligned roughly east-west, and an irregularly-shaped mound approximately 9m in diameter which are visible on aerial photographs taken between the 1940s and 2010. The faint cropmark, visible on 1993 photographs and measuring approximately 175m east to west and running to the east, north and west of the earthworks, has been tentatively interpreted as the possible levelled remains of the fort’s bastions and ramparts. Some pottery, identified as C17 or C18 North Devon ware, has been recovered from the site.
The late-C20 watching brief recovered evidence for a roughly-cobbled surface around 0.20m beneath the topsoil. Its south and west edges were defined by a row of elongated stones set on their sides and the northern edge by a band of lime mortar; at around 3m to the south of the north edge was another row of elongated stones set at a right angles to the west edge. This cobbled surface has been interpreted as a possible southern entrance to the fort. Two sherds of C17 or C18 pottery and the stem of a clay pipe were also recovered.
DISCUSSION
Based on the information provided, and with reference to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act of 1979, Scheduled Monuments and Nationally Important but Non-Scheduled Monuments and the relevant Historic England Selection Guide, the site of a possible mid-C17 English Civil War fort at Staddon Hill are not recommended for scheduling for the following principal reasons:
Level of survival:
* surviving remains of C17 English Civil War defences are relatively rare; however, at present there is insufficient evidence to confirm the extent or level of survival of the possible fort on Staddon Hill.
Level of documentation:
* although there is documentary evidence for a Civil War defensive site in Appledore, further archaeological investigation is required to verify the character of the earthworks and extent of any below ground archaeological remains on Staddon Hill.
National Importance:
* there is insufficient conclusive evidence available to establish the national importance of this site.
CONCLUSION
After examining all the records and other relevant information and having carefully considered the archaeological interest of this case, the criteria for scheduling are not fulfilled and the site of a possible mid-C17 Civil War fort on Staddon Hill is not recommended for scheduling. This assessment is, however, based on the information available, and should archaeological investigation provide a greater understanding of this site and its and its claims to national importance, the appropriateness of scheduling could be reconsidered at a future time.
See report for additional information.

Edwards, M., 2021, Land at Staddon Hill, Appledore: Magnetometer Survey (Report - Survey). SDV364386.

The Geophysical survey was commissioned by Devon County Council in advance of a planning application. 24 magnetic anomaly groups were detected during the survey, of which 22 were characterised as reflecting potential buried archaeology. The Survey Area lies in an area known as Staddon Hill in the northern section of Appledore, North Devon (Figure 1). The survey area consists of two fields with a storage shed in the south central area. Modern housing borders the north and south of the site, a small copse of trees border the east and further agricultural fields border the west. The site slopes from 53m aOD in the south to 42 aOD in the north.

There is one undesignated heritage asset within the Survey Area, the site of a possible 17th century Civil War fort . A substantial linear bank and an irregularly shaped mound are visible on aerial photographs between the 1940s and 2010. There is evidence of recent erosion and these have been interpreted as the remains of the defenses

Historic England, 2022, Civil War Fieldwork on Staddon Hill (Correspondence). SDV364678.

Notification that the Civil War fieldwork on Staddon Hill has been added to the Schedule of Monuments.
The site was initially assessed in 2018 but rejected as there was insufficient archaeological evidence at that time to confirm the extent and date of the earthworks and below ground remains. However, new information from further archaeological investigation now suggests that the fieldwork may represent the remains of a smaller redoubt or artillery position rather than a fort. Its commanding position suggests it was constructed to control the waterways it overlooks.
The existence of a Civil War fieldwork at Appledore is well-documented and the recent investigations have now provided sufficient evidence that the site on Staddon Hill is that fieldwork. The site, which survives well as a combination of upstanding and below ground remains, is considered to be a rare example of a Civil War fieldwork which has the potential to increase our understanding of of this period of English military history. It is, therefore, recommended for scheduling.
See report for full details.

Historic England, 2022, National Heritage List for England, 1476886 (National Heritage List for England). SDV364675.

Civil War Fieldwork on Staddon Hill. Civil War Fieldwork constructed in 1643, surviving as a combination of upstanding and buried archaeological deposits.
Reasons for Designation
The Civil War Fieldwork on Staddon Hill, Appledore is scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Rarity: as surviving Civil War fieldworks number only around 150, and are thus rare in the national context, this example is of significance in aiding our understanding of English military history;
* Documentation: the existence of a Civil War fieldwork on the site is well documented, in the form of contemporary accounts and through later investigative works;
* Survival: despite later alteration, the site survives well in the form of both upstanding remains and buried archaeological deposits;
* Potential: the site will likely contain significant archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, use and the landscape in which it was built.
HISTORY
The site is located on the promontory of Staddon Hill, an elevated position at a height of around 56m, which has far-reaching views over the estuary of the Rivers Taw and Torridge.
The existence of a fieldwork from the First English Civil War (1642-1646) in Appledore is well-documented, although its exact form and location do not appear to have been recorded in contemporary documents. However, local tradition places the fort at this site, and the potential strategic importance of this location is clear. It has been suggested that the fieldwork was built by Parliamentarian forces in 1643, before being taken by Royalists that same year. It was retaken by Parliamentarians in 1646. The fieldwork was likely built by Major General Chudleigh, who was also responsible for construction of the Chudleigh Fort at Bideford
DESCRIPTION: the upstanding elements of the site consist of a north-south aligned field boundary which extends from the Riversmeet road.
Immediately to the south of the eastern end of the bank are the remains of a rectangular building. Further south is an irregularly shaped mound of up to 2.3m height at and 9m diameter.
The interior of the site largely consists of a rectangular platform, beneath which are the remains of a roughly cobbled surface. At the southern end of this platform is an irregularly shaped low bank, which is aligned roughly east-west.
Some associated buried features may survive outside of the assessment area, but as of 2021 the evidence is not conclusive enough to include them at this time.
Please note that this is a summary only. Please see listing description for full details of the site.
Date first listed: 6th January 2022

Arnold, N., 2022, Revealed: Appledore's Civil War Fort, 6 (Article in Serial). SDV364835.

Enhanced Lidar images revealed slight remains of infilled ditches to the east and south. The fort was shown to be a small, irregular four-sided redoubt consisting of a bank and ditch. A projection at the east end of the bank proved to be a flattened demi-bastion, designed to increase its firepower over the River Torridge. The fort was a ‘flanked quadrangle redoubt’, an unusual type of Civil War redoubt.
Documentary research indicates that the Parliamentarians built the fort in 1643 to defend Bideford, but it was captured by Royalists and defended in a 1644 siege that attained national significance. The stone building was a later barn and the mound appears to have been a later look-out point and flagstaff base.

Unknown, Unknown, Staddon Fort (Ground Photograph). SDV358895.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV13546Article in Serial: Rogers, I.. 1927. Barnstaple, Bideford and Torrington during the Civil War. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 59. A5 Hardback. 326.
SDV21030Monograph: Polwhele, R.. 1793-1806. The History of Devonshire. The History of Devonshire. Unknown. 305.
SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown. 50.
SDV340455Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953. SS43SE12. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV340456Worksheet: Timms, S. C.. 1981. Site of Civil War Fort. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV340457Report - Watching Brief: Gent, T. H.. 1995. Archaeological Observations at Staddon Hill, Appledore. Exeter Archaeology Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV340458Article in Serial: Preece, C.. 2002. North Devon Archaeological Society Newsletter. 4. Unknown. 10.
SDV340459Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1964. F61 543. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 42-43.
SDV340461Photograph: Slide.
SDV340462Site Visit: Ordnance Survey. 1977.
SDV340463Site Visit: Timms, S. C.. 1982.
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
SDV349078Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1975. OS/75144. Ordnance Survey Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR OS/75144 113-114 24-MAY-1975.
SDV349371Aerial Photograph: GetMapping. 1999. 113/99. GetMapping Aerial Photograph. DCC GM/113/99 0475-0476 27-JUL-1999.
SDV349553Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1420. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/91420 3234-3235 15-APR-1946.
SDV349880Monograph: Carter, D.. 2009. Illustrated History of Appledore 2: Its life and people.. Illustrated History of Appledore 2: Its life and people.. Paperback Volume. 137-138.
SDV349897Monograph: Carter, D.. 2000. Illustrated History of Appledore. Illustrated History of Appledore. Paperback Volume. 30.
SDV349899Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2010. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS4630 08-APR-2010.
SDV349900Aerial Photograph: Geonex UK. 1993. 78/93. Geonex Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DCC Geonix/78/93 159-160 08-JUN-1993.
SDV352320Correspondence: Timms, S. C.. 1981. Site of the Civil War Fort, Staddon Hill, Appledore. Letter. A4 Stapled.
SDV354781Correspondence: Parry, H.. 1981. Site of Civil War Fort, Staddon Hill, Appledore. Letter + Maps. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV358895Ground Photograph: Unknown. Unknown. Staddon Fort. Conservation Section Photograph Collection. Photograph (Paper) + Digital.
SDV362726Correspondence: Historic England. 2018. Notification of Outcome of Designation Application. Notification of Designation Decision. Digital.
SDV364386Report - Survey: Edwards, M.. 2021. Land at Staddon Hill, Appledore: Magnetometer Survey. Substrata. 2014APP-R-1. Digital. [Mapped feature: #131991 ]
SDV364675National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2022. National Heritage List for England. Digital. 1476886.
SDV364678Correspondence: Historic England. 2022. Civil War Fieldwork on Staddon Hill. Notification of Designation Decision. Digital.
SDV364835Article in Serial: Arnold, N.. 2022. Revealed: Appledore's Civil War Fort. Devon Archaeological Exploration Society Newsletter. 142. A4 Magazine. 6.
SDV3659Article in Serial: Symonds, H.. 1922 - 1923. Mints at Lundy Island and Combe Martin. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 12. Unknown. 210.
SDV6499Cartographic: Unknown. 1838. Northam. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Map (Paper).

Associated Monuments

MDV131012Related to: Archaeological Feature on Staddon Hill, Appledore (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6132 - North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty NMP Project (Ref: ACD383/2/1)
  • EDV8702 - Magnotometer Survey on land at Staddon Hill, Appledore (Ref: 2014APP-R-1)

Date Last Edited:May 4 2022 3:28PM