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HER Number:MDV132653
Name:Possible Roman fortlet, Upperton Farm


Feature visible on lidar data west of Upperton Farm, measures approximately 45m (east-west) by 50m (north-south).


Grid Reference:SX 763 902
Map Sheet:SX79SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDrewsteignton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishDREWSTEIGNTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FORTLET? (Constructed, Roman - 43 AD? (Between) to 409 AD (Between))

Full description

South West Heritage Trust, 1838-1848, Digitised Tithe Maps and Transcribed Apportionments, plot 1363 (Cartographic). SDV359954.

Tithe map shows a small parcel (1363) in corner of field 1367. Rounded south-western corner of plot. Marked as Higher Orchard on the apportionment.

Environment Agency WMS, 2019, LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution), 2019 (Cartographic). SDV362956.

Visible on the lidar data.

Kaye, S., 2022, Possible features noted in Drewsteignton (Correspondence). SDV364797.

(March 2022) Possible fortlet identified from lidar data to the west of Upperton Farm, Drewsteignton. Feature appears particularly upstanding, regular and straight-sided but does not form a perfect square, perhaps due to demolition of west and southern sides prior to the production of the late 19th century historic maps. On the tithe map the junction of the west and southern sides is shown as markedly rounded which may be indicative of a Roman military defensive structure.
Measures approximately 45m east-west; c. 50m north-south. The western edge of the northern side is marked today by a kink in the extant field boundary. Potential hint of the remains of a surrounding ditch but these data are not clear.
Feature noted during investigation of a possible Roman military road that extends from Okehampton to Sticklepath, to South Zeal, to Whiddon Down, to Drewsteignton and then a little further east. This possible fortlet described lies alongside the road, which also serves to add credence to its identification.

Smart, C., 2022, Possible Roman fortlet at Uppercott Farm (Personal Comment). SDV364798.

Chris Smart (Exeter University Landscape Archaeologist) has commented that appears comparable to sites recently under investigation in a project on Roman expansion beyond Exeter. The kink in the field boundary due to the northern face of the earthwork seems particularly encouraging in terms of relative age.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV359954Cartographic: South West Heritage Trust. 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Maps and Transcribed Apportionments. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Digital. plot 1363.
SDV362956Cartographic: Environment Agency WMS. 2019. LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution), 2019. Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. [Mapped feature: #136615 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV77552Related to: Upperton Farm, Drewsteignton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 5 2022 11:55AM