HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.

HER Number:MDV1360
Name:Cranmore Castle, Tiverton


Large univallate hillfort above the confluence of the Rivers Exe and Loman.


Grid Reference:SS 958 117
Map Sheet:SS91SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTiverton
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTIVERTON

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument 1020156: Cranmore Castle
  • SHINE: Cranmore Castle Fort. Earthworks of an Iron Age hillfort Tiverton, earthworks of catch meadow system of probable 19th century date and historic farm buildings at Castlebarn

Other References/Statuses

  • Devon Record Office: Z19/36/16a-e
  • National Monuments Record: 36443
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS91SE/10
  • Old SAM County Ref: 311
  • Old SAM Ref Revised: 34256
  • Old SAM Ref: 12301

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HILLFORT (Early Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 1501 BC (Between))

Full description

Unatributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry (Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry). SDV263.

Metal detector finds on the north west slopes below the fort include a Bronze Age blade, an Iron Age coin and a Saxon coin.

Hutchinson, P. O., 1848-1894, Diaries (Un-published). SDV339321.

Site visit 18th August 1854. Circular mound at east end of oval enclosure. Other details: Plan in MS.

Wall, J. C., 1906, Ancient Earthworks, 600, 601 (Article in Monograph). SDV341465.

Cranmore Castle lies half a mile south of the town on the left bank of the River Exe. The area enclosed is very extensive and the defences of no great strength. The remaining works embrace three-quarters of an irregular ellipse, the narrow end being towards the river at the west, where the rampart is on the crest of a natural escarpment. Along the north is an escarpment only but at the east on top of the hill is a curved agger. Remains of buildings at south east known as 'Castle Barn' have slight remains of banks both at front and back. In 1549 in an engagement at Cranmore the insurgents were defeated by the King's troops. Other details: Plan.

Skinner, E., 1906, Old Tiverton or Twyford, 380 (Article in Serial). SDV35572.

Ordnance Survey, 1930 - 1939, Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV336668.

'Cranmore Castle (Camp)' marked on 1930s 25 inch Ordnance Survey map.

Unknown, 1931, Untitled Source (Article in Serial). SDV35576.

Excavated inconclusively in 1930 or 1931.

Ordnance Survey, 1938, 45NE. Revision of 1932/1933 with addition in 1938. Provisional Edition (Cartographic). SDV335777.

Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1995 FS, RAF/CPE/UK/1995 FS 2040-41 13-APR-1947 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356946.

Cranmore Castle hillfort is visible as a series of earthwork banked and ditched features.

Cambridge University Collection, 1948, AU, 45-47 (Aerial Photograph). SDV35579.

Ministry of Works, 1953, Cranmore Castle (Schedule Document). SDV345155.

A large single ramparted hill-fort, enclosing the end of a hill between the rivers Exe and Loman. The rampart is most massive where it crosses the ridge on the east side, where it measures 115 feet across, but it is ploughed down and spread. Entrance probably from the west (above Collipriest House). Defences intermitted on edge of a lateral on south-west. In fair condition. The rampart has been reduced by ploughing and cut into hedge banks.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1963 - 1982, SS91SE8 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV35562.

Site visit 28th October 1963. Very steep natural slopes on north and south sides seem to have been augmented. Other details: Plan + sketch section.

Cambridge University, 1969, CUC/BAE, 83-4 (Aerial Photograph). SDV343595.

Timms, S. C., 1976, The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft, 204 (Report - Survey). SDV341346.

Hogg, A. H. A., 1979, British Hillforts: An Index, 197 (Monograph). SDV7953.

Other details: BAR 62.

Cambridge University Collection, 1980, CUC/CMM, 58-63 (Aerial Photograph). SDV35573.

Other details: CMM 58 in HER.

National Monuments Record, 1980, SS9611, SF1747/285 (Aerial Photograph). SDV35564.

Eastern end of site recorded on National Monuments Record aerial photograph. Other details: In HER(LF).

Weston, S., 1982, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV7946.

Letter to Historic Environment Record regarding Department of Environment Field Monument Warden visit in July/August.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/EX, 4,5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV35578.

Department of Environment, 1987, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV35558.

Scheduled monument consent granted for erection of sheep shelter.

Department of Environment, 1989, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV35559.

Scheduled monument consent granted for removal of section of hedge to allow for a field gate to be erected.

Department of Environment, 1990, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV35560.

Scheduled monument consent granted for felling and replanting of trees.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1999, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV35567.

Scheduled monument consent granted for the deposition of approximately 20 tonnes of hardcore to resurface the vehicular access across the rampart at the southern entrance to the field.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2001, Cranmore Castle (Schedule Document). SDV35568.

Large univallate hillfort survives as a large elliptical enclosure, encircling the hill and is defined by ramparts on all sides. The defences appear to augment the existing topography, and as a result there is no apparent outer ditch. The original entrance lies on the west side. The interior contains several steep slopes most especially towards the south west on the south side of the enclosure. The interior has been cut by two small quarries. To the north the rampart sits above a steep natural scarp slope and measures up to 3 metres high externally, and is integrated within a field boundary. To the west the rampart measures up to 10 metres wide and 1.2 metres high and is not contained within an extant field boundary; there is a 7 metre wide gap within the rampart which probably represents the original entrance. The slope, although less steep than to the north, is still sharp. The rampart resumes to the south of the entrance, being up to 2.5 metres high externally. At the south west corner, the rampart is again integrated into the existing field boundary and on this side is fairly massive and sits above a near vertical slope. On the south side a 3.2 metre wide access track cuts through the rampart at which point it survives up to 3.2 metres high and 11 metres wide. In the south east corner the buildings of Castle Barn have cut through the earthwork, and this area is therefore not included in the scheduling. However, to the east it resumes again with a rampart measuring up to 25 metres wide and 2.5 metres high. The rampart continues immediately behind Cranmore Cottage where it has been partially cut to enable the building to be constructed. In 1930 there was an inconclusive archaeological excavation. On the slopes below the hillfort, chance finds of a Bronze Age blade and coins dating to the Iron Age and Saxon period have also been made. The garden features, fishpond and driveways relating to Cranmore Cottage and which are immediately adjacent to the rampart, the fences and field boundaries within the enclosure, and those fences, tracks and roads to properties which cross the enclosed area are all excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included. Other details: Site visit c2000.

Reed, S. J., 2005, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV321991.

Site visit to inspect water erosion on south site of monument at NGR SS 95815 11667, where water flows - at times of high rainfall - from a spring within the hillfort through a gate, south along the access track and then west along the track leading from Castle Barn to the east. Several episodes of flooding over the last five years have eroded the stone hardcore laid down with the gateway and along the track. Erosion has been restricted to this hardcore, no archaeological deposits have been exposed despite access track crossing the line of the hillfort's bank and ditch. English Heritage, Devon County Archaeological Service and the landowner are in consultation with regard to the level of remedial and preventative works required in this area.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2005, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV323782.

Scheduled monument consent granted, subject to conditions, in respect of proposed works concerning drainage improvements to the modern entrance through the earthwork.

Environment Agency, 2005-2012, LiDAR DTM data JPEG image (1m resolution), LIDAR SS9511,SS9611 Environment Agency JPEG DTM 19-DEC-2005 - 20-FEB-2012 (Cartographic). SDV357033.

Cranmore Castle hillfort is visible as a series of earthwork banked and ditched features. Map object based on this source.

Exeter Archaeology, 2006, Archaeological Assessment on Land at Exeter Hill Tiverton, Devon, 5 (Report - Assessment). SDV351653.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Map object based on this Source.

Wilkes, E. M. + Griffith, F.M., 2012, Cadbury Castle, Devon, Reconsidered (Article in Serial). SDV354394.

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

Cranmore Castle hillfort, located to the south of Tiverton, is visible as a series of earthwork bank and ditched features on aerial photographs of 1947 onwards. The large univallate hillfort occupies a total area of approximately 13.75 hectares and lies within a prominent position on ground that slopes down moderately to steeply towards the northwest, west and southwest and offering commanding views of the River Exe valley. The defences are mostly defined to the north, east and west by plough-spread earthwork banks, up to 27m in width, which largely augment the natural topography and which have been partly incorporated into the historic field pattern. Evidence of an outer ditch with an additional broad and low earthwork bank was visible along the eastern edge of the hillfort. A possible curvilinear earthwork bank was also recorded on the inside of the main western rampart. Evidence of ramparts forming the more steeply sloping southern edge of the hillfort was, however not clear on aerial photographs or digital Lidar images. Post-medieval to modern quarry pits are visible within the interior of the hillfort and also partly cut into the southwest corner of the rampart. It is recommended that the scheduled area be extended along the east and southeast edge of the hillfort to encompass additional earthwork banked features recorded from Lidar data viewed as part of this survey.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV263Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry: Unatributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry.
SDV321991Personal Comment: Reed, S. J.. 2005. Not Applicable.
SDV323782Correspondence: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2005. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV335777Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1938. 45NE. Revision of 1932/1933 with addition in 1938. Provisional Edition. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV336668Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1930 - 1939. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV339321Un-published: Hutchinson, P. O.. 1848-1894. Diaries. Devon Record Office Collection. Manuscript.
SDV341346Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 204.
SDV341465Article in Monograph: Wall, J. C.. 1906. Ancient Earthworks. Victoria History of the County of Devon. Hardback Volume. 600, 601.
SDV343595Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1969. CUC/BAE. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 83-4.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV345155Schedule Document: Ministry of Works. 1953. Cranmore Castle. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV351653Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2006. Archaeological Assessment on Land at Exeter Hill Tiverton, Devon. Exeter Archaeology Report. 06.19. A4 Stapled + Digital. 5.
SDV354394Article in Serial: Wilkes, E. M. + Griffith, F.M.. 2012. Cadbury Castle, Devon, Reconsidered. Archaeological Journal. 169. Offprint + Digital.
SDV35558Correspondence: Department of Environment. 1987. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV35559Correspondence: Department of Environment. 1989. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV35560Correspondence: Department of Environment. 1990. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV35562Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1963 - 1982. SS91SE8. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV35564Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1980. SS9611. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Unknown. SF1747/285.
SDV35567Correspondence: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1999. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV35568Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2001. Cranmore Castle. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV35572Article in Serial: Skinner, E.. 1906. Old Tiverton or Twyford. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 38. Hardback Volume. 380.
SDV35573Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University Collection. 1980. CUC/CMM. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Unknown. 58-63.
SDV35576Article in Serial: Unknown. 1931. Tiverton Gazetter and East Devon Herald. Unknown.
SDV35578Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/EX. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4,5.
SDV35579Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University Collection. 1948. AU. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Unknown. 45-47.
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
SDV356946Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1995 FS. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1995 FS 2040-41 13-APR-1947.
SDV357033Cartographic: Environment Agency. 2005-2012. LiDAR DTM data JPEG image (1m resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SS9511,SS9611 Environment Agency JPEG DTM 19-DEC-2005 - 20-FEB-2012.
SDV7946Correspondence: Weston, S.. 1982. Department of Environment Field Monument Warden Visit. Letter.
SDV7953Monograph: Hogg, A. H. A.. 1979. British Hillforts: An Index. British Hill-forts: An Index. 62. Unknown. 197.

Associated Monuments

MDV42185Related to: FINDSPOT in the Parish of Tiverton (Find Spot)
MDV42189Related to: Metal Blade, Collipriest (Find Spot)
MDV42188Related to: Silver Stater, Cranmore Castle (Find Spot)

Associated Finds

  • FDV558 - BLADE (Bronze Age - 2200 BC to 701 BC)
  • FDV556 - COIN (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD)
  • FDV557 - COIN (Saxon - 701 AD to 1065 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV1693 - Unnamed Event
  • EDV2881 - Unnamed Event
  • EDV6530 - The East and Mid-Devon Rivers Catchment NMP project (Ref: ACD613)

Date Last Edited:Jul 4 2018 4:19PM