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HER Number:MDV12137
Name:Roman Fort at Bury Barton, Lapford


A triple ditched Roman enclosure visible as an earthwork at Bury Barton


Grid Reference:SS 733 071
Map Sheet:SS70NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishLapford
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLAPFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS70NW/8
  • Old SAM County Ref: 1033

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FORT (Early Iron Age to Roman - 700 BC to 409 AD)

Full description

Tyler, K., Archaeological Watching Brief, Land at Bury Barton, Polbury (Report - Watching Brief). SDV348803.

Limited archaeological investigations have been carried out on the site of the fort. It is likely to be in a position of a smaller and earlier marching camp located on the east side. The fort itself encompasses an area of approximately 1.9 hectares, with the defences comprising a triple-ditched enclosure with ramparts, surviving in places as earthworks and elsewhere as cropmarks. Within the interior of the fort excavations identifies foundation trenches for timber buildings, as well as a midden deposit.

Devon County Council, Devon Air Photograph Transcriptions (Cartographic). SDV344181.

Map object based on this Source.

NMR, NMR SS7307/1-11 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV47336.

Ordnance Survey, SS70NW5 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV47311.

Hoskins, W. G., 1952, The Making of the Agrarian Landscape, 145 (Article in Monograph). SDV320933.

An earthwork formerly occupied the summit of the ridge on which Bury Barton now stands. Presumably a small hilltop camp of the type usually found in the late Iron Age. No trace of it remains today.

Alcock, N. W., 1966, Untitled Source, 105 (Article in Serial). SDV53105.

First published reference to this site is apparently in Alcock citing lecture by Hoskins.

Cambridge University Collection, 1975, CAP/BTS, 019-020 (Aerial Photograph). SDV47310.

Cambridge University, 1980, CUC/CMC, 34-38 (Aerial Photograph). SDV343849.

St. Joseph, J. K. S., 1980, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV47313.

Greeves + St Joseph, 1980, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV47297.

A triple ditched enclosure at Bury Barton, visible as cropmark on photograph by Prof St Joseph at SS73420716 and apparently preserved in existing field boundaries. Possibly Roman. The earthworks are quite well preserved. They could well be the defences of a fort that might measure c560 feet E-W, by 340ft, over the rampart crests, though considerably altered at a later date, and with the west end of the rectangle largely obliterated by the existing farm and its outbuildings' Other details: Plan.

Todd, M. + Goddard, S., 1982, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV53102.

Survey made 1982 by Todd + Goddard, together with enclosure to south (SS70NW/37) regularly planned sub-rectangular enclosure, 1.9 ha. South side well-preserved with rampart rising 4m above ditch hollow. E + N sides also visible, but W obliterated by farm buildings. Trench excavated across N rampart in June 1983. Clay bank, 3m wide, possibly revetted in turf. To the rear of the rampart was a pit containing Claudio- Neronian pottery. Possibly replaced nearby campaign enclosure SS70NW/37.

Griffith, F. M., 1983, Untitled Source (Site Visit). SDV47300.

Condition as described by Todd and Goddard. Substantial earthwork remains extant. This site, rather than North Tawton (SX69NE/3) may be the site of Nemetostatio (of the Ravenna Cosmography), being at the heart of the well-known Nymet placenames.

Griffith, F. M., 1983, Untitled Source (Photograph). SDV47316.

Todd, M. + Goddard, S., 1983, Untitled Source (Report - Interim). SDV47317.

Todd, M. + Goddard, S., 1983, Untitled Source, 3 (Article in Serial). SDV47319.

Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/BG, 8,9 (Aerial Photograph). SDV47322.

Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/DP, 2, 3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV47323.

Frere, S. S., 1984, Roman Britain in 1983., 318-9 (Article in Serial). SDV53109.

Todd, M., 1984, Untitled Source (Report - Interim). SDV47301.

Excavation July 1984 at approx SS73290720: defences consisted of solid clay rampart, revetted by turf, 4m wide, c1m high. Rubbish deposits behind the defences contained 1st century pot and residues of metalworking. Also 2nd/3rd century pot suggesting later occupation. The end of a 1st century timber building identified in the interior Other details: Plan.

Todd, M., 1984, Untitled Source, 8-9 (Article in Serial). SDV47326.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/FE, 1 (Aerial Photograph). SDV47324.

Frere, S. S., 1985, Roman Britain in 1984, 303 (Article in Serial). SDV35311.

Todd, M., 1985, The Roman Fort at Bury Barton, Devonshire, 49-55 (Article in Serial). SDV53108.

1.9ha fort with triple ditch visible on NE angle and along part of E side. Earthworks surveyed 1982; striking earthworks traced around entire circuit, except where overlain by farm. N side easily traced in pasture to clear NE angle, with a modern hedge following the ditch course. Apparent gateway on N side, with none on S side and no surface indications of any on the E. N gate is probably Porta Praetoria.1984 section across NW rampart reveals solid core of clay up to 0.55m high revetted at rear by 1.2m wide turfwork bank. Front of rampart not examined but the whole rampart would have been 4m wide, covering the old land surface from which the turf had been stripped.30cm square turves (=1 Roman foot) discernible in collapsed tail of rampart. A block of buildings, 10m wide and aligned N-S was identified in the NW angle of the fort, with an 11m wide Intervallum between building and rampart. Foundation trenches were cut into the bedrock, and there was evidence of deliberate removal of building timbers. A 0.55m thick deposit of waste behind the rampart included charcoal, slag, possible organic matter, and pottery of Claudio-Neronian date. A small quantity of 2nd - 3rd century black-burnished pottery was also retrieved, suggesting non-intensive re-occupation of the fort.

Todd, M., 1986, Die Ausgrabrugen in Hembury (Devon) und die Romische Eroberung Sudwest Englands, 68/c (Report - non-specific). SDV47330.

Maxwell, G. S. + Wilson, D. R., 1987, Air Reconnaissance in Roman Britain 1977-84, 3 (Article in Serial). SDV35314.

Bury Barton commands views NW and S along the River Yeo and NE up the Dalch valley.

Ancient Monuments, 1988, Untitled Source (Schedule Document). SDV319233.

Site - excluding the buildings of the farmstead - scheduled as an Ancient Monument in 1988.

Griffith, F. M., 1989, DAP/NA, 10-13 (Aerial Photograph). SDV47339.

Griffith, F. M., 1989, DAP/OR, 10-12 (Aerial Photograph). SDV47340.

Department of Environment, 1991, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV47304.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for demolition of small agricultural buildings and erection of a shed.

Griffith, F. M., 1994, DAP/XA, 11-13 (Aerial Photograph). SDV47338.

Griffith, F. M., 1995, DAP/YN, 3-5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV47342.

Horner, B., 1995, DAP/YV, 10-13 (Aerial Photograph). SDV7961.

1995, Untitled Source (Photograph). SDV47334.

Griffith, F. M., 1996, DAP/AAO, 6-8 (Aerial Photograph). SDV7962.

1996, Untitled Source (Photograph). SDV47337.

Miller, A., 1996, Untitled Source (Interpretation). SDV39006.

DCMS, 2001, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV47305.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted, subject to conditions, for works comprising:- (i) the construction of an extension to the existing bungalow; (ii) the movement of the kitchen to provide another bedroom, office, toilet and garage; (iii) the enlargement of the garden to accommodate the bungalow; (iv) the extension of the drive to the garage; and (v) the removal of a cherry tree.

Todd, M., 2002, The Roman Fort and Later Roman Site at Bury Barton, 37-58 (Article in Serial). SDV321575.

A large rectangular pit found during excavations of 1983-5, lay immediately to the rear of the west rampart, measuring 2.0m wide, and contained a dense mass of carbonised material, of which mainly grain, a large quantity of late Roman pottery, and a bronze coin of Constantine I. The building material found implies the existence of at least one substantial building. Finds during the included first-century and fourth-century pottery, coins and gaming counters.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

Map object based on this Source.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV319233Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 1988.
SDV320933Article in Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1952. The Making of the Agrarian Landscape. Devonshire Studies. 145.
SDV321575Article in Serial: Todd, M.. 2002. The Roman Fort and Later Roman Site at Bury Barton. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 60. 37-58.
SDV343849Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1980. CUC/CMC. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 34-38.
SDV344181Cartographic: Devon County Council. Devon Air Photograph Transcriptions. Devon Air Photograph Transcriptions. Map (Digital).
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV348803Report - Watching Brief: Tyler, K.. Archaeological Watching Brief, Land at Bury Barton, Polbury. AC Archaeology Report. ACD327/2/0.
SDV35311Article in Serial: Frere, S. S.. 1985. Roman Britain in 1984. Britannia. 16. Unknown. 303.
SDV35314Article in Serial: Maxwell, G. S. + Wilson, D. R.. 1987. Air Reconnaissance in Roman Britain 1977-84. Britannia. 18. Unknown. 3.
SDV39006Interpretation: Miller, A.. 1996. RCHME Aerial Photograph Primary Recording Project.
SDV47297Worksheet: Greeves + St Joseph. 1980.
SDV47300Site Visit: Griffith, F. M.. 1983.
SDV47301Report - Interim: Todd, M.. 1984. Interim Report on Excavations 1984.
SDV47304Correspondence: Department of Environment. 1991. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV47305Correspondence: DCMS. 2001. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV47310Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University Collection. 1975. CAP/BTS. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. 019-020.
SDV47311Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey. SS70NW5.
SDV47313Correspondence: St. Joseph, J. K. S.. 1980. Letter.
SDV47316Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1983. Slide.
SDV47317Report - Interim: Todd, M. + Goddard, S.. 1983. A Roman Fort at Bury Barton, Lapford.
SDV47319Article in Serial: Todd, M. + Goddard, S.. 1983. CBA Newsletter. 13. 3.
SDV47322Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/BG. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 8,9.
SDV47323Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/DP. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2, 3.
SDV47324Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/FE. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1.
SDV47326Article in Serial: Todd, M.. 1984. Devon Archaeological Society Newsletter. 8-9.
SDV47330Report - non-specific: Todd, M.. 1986. Die Ausgrabrugen in Hembury (Devon) und die Romische Eroberung Sudwest Englands. 13th Congress of Roman Frontier Studies, Aalen. Unknown. 68/c.
SDV47334Photograph: 1995. Colour Slide. Slide.
SDV47336National Monuments Record Database: NMR. NMR SS7307/1-11.
SDV47337Photograph: 1996. Colour Slide.
SDV47338Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1994. DAP/XA. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 11-13.
SDV47339Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1989. DAP/NA. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 10-13.
SDV47340Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1989. DAP/OR. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 10-12.
SDV47342Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1995. DAP/YN. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3-5.
SDV53102Report - Survey: Todd, M. + Goddard, S.. 1982. Survey at 1:100.
SDV53105Article in Serial: Alcock, N. W.. 1966. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 98. 105.
SDV53108Article in Serial: Todd, M.. 1985. The Roman Fort at Bury Barton, Devonshire. Britannia. 16. 49-55.
SDV53109Article in Serial: Frere, S. S.. 1984. Roman Britain in 1983.. Britannia. 15. 318-9.
SDV7961Aerial Photograph: Horner, B.. 1995. DAP/YV. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 10-13.
SDV7962Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1996. DAP/AAO. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 6-8.

Associated Monuments

MDV74694Related to: Bury Barton, Lapford (Monument)
MDV20942Related to: TEMPORARY CAMP in the Parish of Lapford (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV1477 - Unnamed Event
  • EDV1478 - Unnamed Event

Date Last Edited:Oct 26 2022 11:51AM