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HER Number:MDV1279
Name:Large Oval Ditched Enclosure North East of Netherexe Barton


A large oval ditched enclosure of probable prehistoric date, measuring circa 530 by 380 metres in size, is visible on aerial photographs to the north-east of Netherexe Barton. Several smaller circular and oval ditched enclosures are visible within the enclosed area but their relationship with the large ditched enclosure is unknown.


Grid Reference:SS 940 009
Map Sheet:SS90SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishRewe
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishREWE

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Prehistoric or Romano-British rectilinear and curvilinear ditched enclosures, ring ditches, water channel, pits, linears, pits and artefact scatters south of Rudway Barton

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 1038571
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS90SW/39

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • OVAL ENCLOSURE (Early Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC to 42 AD (Between))

Full description

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

Map object previously based on this Source.

BALKWILL, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV44259.

Two complete ditched enclosures, one up to 100m length, the other 70m, 200m apart and probably surrounded by a single large enclosure ditch at one point double-ditched. Lying in adjacent fields and enclosing an area at least 600m in length and 500m width. Broad entrance to nw, without which lies another, square enclosure with outer rectilinear enclosure ditches, situated at ss937012 the whole complex is indicated by cropmarks on the ap (balkwill).

Griffith, F. M., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV8774.

Trial trench in northern enclosure by silvester and others, spring 1982 (griffith).

DATED TO EARLIER FIRST MILLENNIUM, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV113396.

Section drawing of trench and pot finds (dated to earlier first millennium) shown on slides by j. Uglow.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV113400.

Aph=nmr ss9400/16-18.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV113401.

Aph=cuc/zs 56-57(6/7/1959).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV113402.

Des=2 slides by j. Uglow(in smr).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV113403.

Uglow, j. + brown, a. G. + silvester, r. J. /pdas/43(1985)115-117/the investigation of a cropmark in the lower exe valley/sketch map,diagrams.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV113404.

Aph=cuc/mh 65-71(5/7/1953).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV113405.

Aph=cuc/buo 13(18/7/1975)in smr/filed with ss90sw-040.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV113406.

Aph=cuc/aoq 66(29/6/1966)in smr/filed with ss90sw-040.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV113408.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV113409.


Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV113410.

Aph=nmr ss9301/9,19-20,54,59-60.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV113411.

Aph=nmr ss9401/4-6.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV113412.

Aph=nmr ss9300/1-6,13.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV113413.

Aph=nmr ss9301/1-2,9,11,13,15-21,30,39-40,54,59,61-63,65-66.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV113414.

Aph=nmr ss9400/21-23,42-46.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV113415.

Aph=nmr ss9401/2-7,9-11,14-19.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV113416.

Aph=cap 8132/73.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV113417.

Des=miller, a. /(9/2/1996)/rchme ap primary recording project.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV113418.

Des=quinnell, h. /later prehistoric pottery survey/(1998)dbid:3223/in smr.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV113419.

Aph=dap/mj 15/(24/6/1989).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV113420.

Aph=dap/rn 9-11/(7/6/1990).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV113421.

Aph=dap/tx 7,8(11/2/1991).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV113422.

Aph=dap/ul 8-9(3/6/1991).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV113424.

Aph=dap/zh 4-7/(8/7/1996).

UGLOW + BROWN + SILVESTER, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV114723.

The site was investigated by the tiverton archaeological group in march 1982, under the supervision of silvester. Prior to excavation, extensive fieldwalking had revealed the presence of several flint scatters in the area. No pottery sherds were recovered in fieldwalking. The ditch was shown in excavation to be circa 2m deep, though it was not bottomed. Sherds of undistinguished pottery, probably of first millennium bc date, were recovered from the ditch (uglow + brown + silvester).

Miller, A., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV13030.

Rapid examination of ap suggests the presence of a large (c.550m by 400m) curvilinear enclosure, of prehistoric date, visible as cropmarks c.650m s of rudway barton. Aligned nw-se, with nw-facing entrance. The large number of neolithic/bronze age finds (ss90sw/2, 12 + 13) and its situation, suggest a probable neolithic date (miller).

QUINNELL, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV1356.

8 sherds of early/middle iron age pot, recoverd during evaluation trench. Now with the excavators (quinnell).

Cambridge University, 1975, CUCAP BTS, CUCAP BTS86-88 03-JUL-1975 (Aerial Photograph). SDV2407.

Curvilinear cropmarks of a ditch are visible.

Devon County Council, 1991, DAP 13442, DAP 13442/07 11-FEB-1991 (TX) (Aerial Photograph). SDV358053.

Cropmarks of a curvilinear ditched feature are visible. Map object based on this source.

DCC, 1996, DAP/6695, DAP 6695/13 15-MAR-1989 (LL) (Aerial Photograph). SDV357596.

Cropmarks of a curvilinear ditched feature are visible. Map object based on this source.

Griffith, F. M., 1996, DAP/ZC, DCC DAP/ZC12 19-JUN-1996 (Aerial Photograph). SDV321037.

Curvilinear cropmarks of a ditch are visible.

Griffith, F. M., 1996, DAP/ZZ, DCC DAPZZ 1-6 17-JUL-1996 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346159.

Cropmarks of curvilinear ditched features are visible.

Bayer, O. J., 2012, Lithic Scatters and Prehistoric Monuments in the Lower Exe Valley, 12-13 (Article in Serial). SDV351770.

Large oval enclosure, 500 metres by 300 metres first recorded from the air in the 1990s. It resembles both Early Neolithic causewayed enclosures and later Neolithic palisaded enclosures. One of the aims of a recent project looking at the evidence for prehistoric activity in the lower Exe Valley has been to characterise the enclosure and establish a date for its construction and use.
A previous survey of the enclosure established that the enclosure is prehistoric in origin, overlain by features associated with a Romano British enclosure. As part of the current project, two trial trenches were excavated across the ditch of the large enclosure. The ditch was shown to have a shallow, v-shaped profile, up to 7.0 metres wide by 1.9 metres deep. There were no traces of an internal or external bank. A small piece of charcoal from the secondary fills of the ditch returned a date in the mid to late Bronze Age, 1301-1046 cal BC. However, because of the location of the charcoal, high up in the ditch silts the relationship between this date and the date of the construction of the enclosure remains uncertain.
The parishes of Nether Exe, Rew and Thorverton contain some of the richest evidence for prehistoric activity in the south-west. The Uglow collection contains more than 19,000 pieces of worked flint and chert from over 190 assemblages within the Lower Exe Valley, analysis of which has enabled the mapping of concentrations of Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age activity.

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

The large oval enclosure circa 530 by 380 metres in size described by the above authorities is clearly visible as a fragmentary and partial cropmark on a range of aerial photographs, also listed above, and has been transcribed as part of the East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme survey. Individual elements of the enclosure ditch cropmark strongly resemble cropmarks of natural origin, such as those arising from features such as frost cracks and palaeochannels within the gravels of the Exe valley floodplain, numerous examples of which are visible in the immediate vicinity of the enclosure.
Due to dark and broad natural cropmarks, probably forming over palaeochannels, the ditch cropmark cannot be clearly seen or transcribed for circa 100-150 metres in the north-west quadrant of the enclosure centred on circa SS93860091.
Approximately 120 metres of the perimeter is also not traceable in the south-west quadrant of the enclosure, centred on circa SS94060069, possibly due to planting with crops not suited to cropmark formation or due to the erosion of the buried ditch by heavy cultivation.
Much of the remainder of the enclosure can be most completely and clearly seen on a run of Devon Aerial Photographs of 1991 (DAP/TX 7-8) and 1996 (DAP/ZZ 1-6).
A smaller possible oval cropmark circa 45 metres in diameter, centred on circa SS94000096 and previously recorded as part of this monument record, has been recorded separately as MDV111099.

Bayer, O., March 2011, Excavating Enigmatic Enclosures in the Exe Valley, 13-14 (Article in Serial). SDV354870.

Brief report of the surveying, fieldwalking and excavation that has been undertaken on the site of a large oval enclosure discovered as a crop mark in the mid 1980s. The enclosure which measures some 500 metres by 300 metres does not fit readily into established classes of prehistoric monument and one of the main aims of the project has been to establish its date. A gradiometer survey was carried out in February 2008. Over 26 hectares has been covered and about 95% of the enclosure ditch circuit traced. The survey revaled a range of features dating from the prehistoric period to the medieval period and later both within and overlying the enclosure. In April 2010 fieldwalking of a flint scatter immediately south of the enclosure located over 500 pieces of worked flint and chert including a late Mesolithic microlith and a small Early Bronze Age barbed and tanged arrowhead. In August 2010 a trench was excavated across the large enclosure ditch. No easy answers were obtained. The ditch fills produced a small amount of charcoal which is currently being radiocarbon dated.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV113400Aerial Photograph:
SDV113401Aerial Photograph:
SDV113402Migrated Record:
SDV113403Migrated Record:
SDV113404Aerial Photograph:
SDV113405Aerial Photograph:
SDV113406Aerial Photograph:
SDV113408Migrated Record:
SDV113409Migrated Record:
SDV113410Aerial Photograph:
SDV113411Aerial Photograph:
SDV113412Aerial Photograph:
SDV113413Aerial Photograph:
SDV113414Aerial Photograph:
SDV113415Aerial Photograph:
SDV113416Aerial Photograph:
SDV113417Migrated Record:
SDV113418Migrated Record:
SDV113419Aerial Photograph:
SDV113420Aerial Photograph:
SDV113421Aerial Photograph:
SDV113422Aerial Photograph:
SDV113424Aerial Photograph:
SDV114723Migrated Record: UGLOW + BROWN + SILVESTER.
SDV13030Migrated Record: Miller, A..
SDV1356Migrated Record: QUINNELL.
SDV2407Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1975. CUCAP BTS. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). CUCAP BTS86-88 03-JUL-1975.
SDV321037Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1996. DAP/ZC. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DCC DAP/ZC12 19-JUN-1996.
SDV344181Cartographic: Devon County Council. Devon Air Photograph Transcriptions. Devon Air Photograph Transcriptions. Map (Digital).
SDV346159Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1996. DAP/ZZ. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DCC DAPZZ 1-6 17-JUL-1996.
SDV351770Article in Serial: Bayer, O. J.. 2012. Lithic Scatters and Prehistoric Monuments in the Lower Exe Valley. Devon Archaeological Society Newsletter. 111. A4 Stapled. 12-13.
SDV354870Article in Serial: Bayer, O.. March 2011. Excavating Enigmatic Enclosures in the Exe Valley. A.C.E Archaeology Club Newsletter. March 2011. A4 Stapled + Digital. 13-14.
SDV356883Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV357596Aerial Photograph: DCC. 1996. DAP/6695. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DAP 6695/13 15-MAR-1989 (LL).
SDV358053Aerial Photograph: Devon County Council. 1991. DAP 13442. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DAP 13442/07 11-FEB-1991 (TX).
SDV44259Migrated Record: BALKWILL.
SDV8774Migrated Record: Griffith, F. M..

Associated Monuments

MDV30537Parent of: Oval Enclosure East North East of Netherexe Barton (Monument)
MDV30537Related to: Oval Enclosure East North East of Netherexe Barton (Monument)
MDV55597Parent of: Oval Enclosure East North East of Netherexe Barton (Monument)
MDV111099Parent of: Oval Enclosure North North East of Netherexe Barton (Monument)
MDV111089Parent of: Ring Ditch North East of Netherexe Barton (Monument)
MDV30537Parent of: Oval Enclosure East North East of Netherexe Barton (Monument)
MDV30537Related to: Oval Enclosure East North East of Netherexe Barton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

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

Date Last Edited:Mar 26 2021 5:50PM