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HER Number:MDV1229
Name:Earthwork in Hillersdon Wood, Cullompton

Summary

An intriguing feature comprising two concentric banks, circa 55.0 metres and 30.0 metres diameter surrounding a central ring bank/wall feature. It is suggested that it may be a prehistoric enclosure containing a later folly.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 986 079
Map Sheet:SS90NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishCullompton
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCULLOMPTON

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Prehistoric or post-medieval earthwork in Hillesdon Wood- small camp (Class C): two concentric banks surrounding central ring bank
  • SHINE: Prehistoric or post-medieval earthwork in Hillesdon Wood- small camp (Class C): two concentric banks surrounding central ring bank

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS90NE/1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MOUND (Unknown date)

Full description

Horner, B., 01/03/1995, Earthwork in Hillersdon Wood (Personal Comment). SDV352009.

Site visit 1st March 1995. The tree thinning has been completed and a fence erected around the site with no disturbance to the monument. Photographs taken of site including section of mortared rubble wall in the north side of the central mound.


Horner, B., 01/03/1995, Earthwork in Hillersdon Wood (Ground Photograph). SDV44460.


Plummer, M. + Plummer, A., 11/07/1993, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV44461.

Site visit 11th July 1993. Some clearance work has taken place since 1990 revealing further banks. There has also been some damage to the central banks of the earthworks.


Horner, B., 14/09/1994, Earthwork in Hillersdon Wood (Ground Photograph). SDV44459.


Plummer, M., 16/09/1990, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV44456.

Surveyed by Tiverton Archaeology Group in 1990. Diameter 56.0 metres. Extensive growth of mature trees (some fallen). North-west quarter heavily overgrown with laurels. Examination of a 1.0 metre wide area of inner bank revealed a compacted earth bank. Part of an inner stone wall core also visible. A previously disturbed pit within the central area was cleared of debris including red brick, stone, mortar, and natural shale. Clearance of a trench running south through the inner bank revealed a section of stone wall within the bank. Immediately outside the inner bank is a band of flat compacted shale circa 3.0 metres wide. Surrounding field boundaries respect the site.


Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848 (Cartographic). SDV349431.

Circular enclosure depicted with a circular feature inside reached by a footpath from the track along the southern side of the wood (Fir Lane Track). The plots either side are named in the Apportionment as 'Down' (95) and 'The Long Field (94), both plantations.


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

Circular enclosed area marked as Camp.


Griffith, F. M., 19/02/1993, Earthwork in Hillersdon Wood (Personal Comment). SDV44457.

Site visit by F. M. Griffith and M. Plummer 16th February 1993 to discuss possible tree and rhododendron removal from site. This is a most interesting and well preserved monument, consisting of two concentric banks, diameters 55.0 metres and 3.00 metres (according to the Tiverton Archaeology Group survey), surrounding the central ring bank/wall feature. There is the possibility of an inturned entrance in the outer earthwork on its north side but this is at present largely obscured by rhododendrons. Further survey will be required after vegetation clearance.
This has the appearance of a possible late prehistoric concentric enclosure on Cornish or Irish lines. It seems quite possible that the central mound and wall, now largely disturbed may be an altogether later addition, possibly, as suggested above, a folly.


Wall, J. C., 1906, Ancient Earthworks, 605 (Article in Monograph). SDV341465.

Earthwork in Hillesdon Wood. Remains of a small camp of Class C. A simple defensive enclosure.


Higham, R. A., 1979, The Castles of Medieval Devon, 177 (Post-Graduate Thesis). SDV336189.

A circular mound up to 2.0 metres high and 12.0 metres diameter. There is no surrounding ditch, but there is a platform with a low bank on the perimeter. Adjoining field boundaries give the impression of an outer enclosure. Unrecorded rough digging on the site revealed coarse stonework, mortar and brick, and thus a post-medieval date is suggested. Dubiously a castle.


Grinsell, L. V., 1983, The Barrows of South and East Devon, 46 (Article in Serial). SDV337013.


Keene, B., 1986, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV44453.

Excavated by Blundells School in the mid 1960s. Further information being sought. Site provisionally interpreted as 18th century folly.


Higham, R. A., 1988, Devon Castles: An Annotated List, 145 (Article in Serial). SDV341278.


Environment Agency, 2005-2012, LiDAR DTM data JPEG image (1m resolution), LIDAR SS9807, SS9508 Environment Agency DTM 19-DEC-2005 & 05-MAR-2010 (Cartographic). SDV357033.

A series of earthwork banks and an earthwork pit are visible on digital images derived from DTM Lidar data captured during 2005 and 2010. Map object based on this source.


Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

Marked as a Tumulus on modern mapping. Map object based on this source.


Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2014-2015, East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV356883.

A series of earthwork banks and an earthwork pit associated with this feature of uncertain date are visible on digital images derived from DTM Lidar data captured during 2005 and 2010. The earthworks comprise a central oval-shaped earthwork pit with an outer earthwork mound which measures approximately 20m in length by 15m in width. A series of fragmentary earthwork banks forming two outer concentric rings encompass this central earthwork mound. The earthworks are largely obscured by tree cover of Hillersdon Wood and were not clearly visible on other aerial photographs or digital images made available to the survey.


Horner, B., 23/09/1994, Earthwork in Hillersdon Wood (Personal Comment). SDV44458.

Site visit 14th September 1994. Work commencing on tree clearance and fencing of the site.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SS90NE1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV44450.

Very little visible due to rhododendrons. Probably a barrow (citing A. Fox circa 1950).
Site visit 13th March 1958. Outer bank of feature visible but south-east side of central mound mutilated. South-west side recently afforested.
Site visit 03/08/1997. A mound, 1.5 metres high, 18.0 metres diameter, the centre of which has been cut out. It is surrounded by a raised platform with a low bank froming its perimeter. In its present mutilated state it is impossible to determine whether this was either a bowl or bell barrow.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336189Post-Graduate Thesis: Higham, R. A.. 1979. The Castles of Medieval Devon. University of Exeter Thesis. Unknown. 177.
SDV337013Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1983. The Barrows of South and East Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 41. Paperback Volume. 46.
SDV341278Article in Serial: Higham, R. A.. 1988. Devon Castles: An Annotated List. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 46. Paperback Volume. 145.
SDV341465Article in Monograph: Wall, J. C.. 1906. Ancient Earthworks. Victoria History of the County of Devon. Hardback Volume. 605.
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV352009Personal Comment: Horner, B.. 01/03/1995. Earthwork in Hillersdon Wood.
SDV356883Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
SDV357033Cartographic: Environment Agency. 2005-2012. LiDAR DTM data JPEG image (1m resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SS9807, SS9508 Environment Agency DTM 19-DEC-2005 & 05-MAR-2010.
SDV44450Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SS90NE1. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV44453Worksheet: Keene, B.. 1986. Worksheet.
SDV44456Worksheet: Plummer, M.. 16/09/1990. Worksheet.
SDV44457Personal Comment: Griffith, F. M.. 19/02/1993. Earthwork in Hillersdon Wood.
SDV44458Personal Comment: Horner, B.. 23/09/1994. Earthwork in Hillersdon Wood.
SDV44459Ground Photograph: Horner, B.. 14/09/1994. Earthwork in Hillersdon Wood. Photograph (Paper).
SDV44460Ground Photograph: Horner, B.. 01/03/1995. Earthwork in Hillersdon Wood. Photograph (Paper).
SDV44461Worksheet: Plummer, M. + Plummer, A.. 11/07/1993. Worksheet.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6530 - The East and Mid-Devon Rivers Catchment NMP project (Ref: ACD613)

Date Last Edited:Aug 27 2014 11:11AM