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:MDV13843
Name:Enclosure, Snow Ball Hill, West Down


Enclosure on Snow Ball Hill, West Devon.


Grid Reference:SS 520 409
Map Sheet:SS54SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishWest Down
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWEST DOWN

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthworks of prehistoric oval enclosure on Snow Ball Hill

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS54SW/38

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ENCLOSURE (Prehistoric - 698000 BC to 42 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1905, 9NW (Cartographic). SDV67182.

Several places in the vicinity contain the name 'Roborough'.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1501, 3150 (Aerial Photograph). SDV337198.

On the 1946 RAF aerial photograph the area is mainly wooded but one circular apparently upstanding feature can be seen, apparent diameter c10-15m.

Thompson, E. M., 1980, Preliminary Report of a Possible Enclosure Site at Snow Ball, West Down, Barnstaple, North Devon (Report - Interim). SDV338071.

Snow Ball Hill, West Down. The site of a possible enclosure was discovered in 1980 during land 'improvement' work, and several flints were recovered by the farmer. On the hill top scoops and raised areas were apparent. The outer bank of the enclosure can just be discerned. 19th century pottery was also recovered. Mr Isaac (the contractor) said the enclosure was approximately round, with slight banks abutting to the north and west.

Environment Agency WMS, 1998-2014, LiDAR DTM data JPEG image (1m resolution) (Cartographic). SDV359716.

Earthworks of oval enclosure visible.

Exeter Archaeology, 2005, Archaeological Assessment (Revised) of proposed Wind Farm at Fullabrook, North Devon, 12 (Report - Assessment). SDV340799.

Enclosure, possibly prehistoric. Other details: Site 103.

Manning, P. T., 2007, Additional info for HER entry (Correspondence). SDV338072.

It was reported that during work in Snowball Wood a number of years ago, large quantities of flint were noticed which did not appear to be natural to the area. Some were picked up but later dumped in the area where the flint was found.

Lawrence, J., 2017, Images of Snow Ball Enclosure, West Down (Aerial Photograph). SDV360052.

Images of Snow Ball possible enclosure, including a Lidar image.

Kaye, S., 2018, Enclosure, Snow Ball Hill, West Down (Interpretation). SDV361571.

Overall form appears rectangular in form, with rounded corners and ay have a complex and structured form.

There is an inner and outer set of bank-ditch couplets and possibly a ramp-like approach or entrance on the northern side which cuts through the outer and inner banks. The lidar appears to show internal structure, e.g. a pit off-set from the centre which is surrounded by semi-circular forms. Given that the area was once wooded and has recently (1980?) been 'improved' these internal features may not be related to the enclosing banks.

There is an apparent pit to the west of the enclosure which appears to have been enclosed or what seems to be bank-work may be up-thrown material.

The enclosure occupies the top of a promontory and rises from approx. 163 metres in the west to approx. 173 metres in the east. The inner bank encloses a space of approx. 133 x 92 metres. The banks seem to have been built to incorporate some geological features which trend roughly east-west; this is especially apparent on the northern side. The bank-ditch couplets are most obvious in the west, less so in the north. In the east the outer bank becomes obscured by the geology and the inner can only be followed with confidence for half of the side (north to south). The southern side of the enclosure is problematic: there is a boundary or geological/topo feature of some sort running east-west in the south but this may not be part of the original enclosure.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV337198Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1501. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3150.
SDV338071Report - Interim: Thompson, E. M.. 1980. Preliminary Report of a Possible Enclosure Site at Snow Ball, West Down, Barnstaple, North Devon. A4 Single Sheet.
SDV338072Correspondence: Manning, P. T.. 2007. Additional info for HER entry. Email to F. Glover.
SDV340799Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2005. Archaeological Assessment (Revised) of proposed Wind Farm at Fullabrook, North Devon. Exeter Archaeology Report. 05.06. A4 Stapled + Digital. 12.
SDV359716Cartographic: Environment Agency WMS. 1998-2014. LiDAR DTM data JPEG image (1m resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital.
SDV360052Aerial Photograph: Lawrence, J.. 2017. Images of Snow Ball Enclosure, West Down. Digital.
SDV361571Interpretation: Kaye, S.. 2018. Enclosure, Snow Ball Hill, West Down. Digital.
SDV67182Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1905. 9NW. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4404 - Archaeological Assessment (Revised) of Proposed Wind Farm at Fullabrook, North Devon

Date Last Edited:Jul 18 2018 4:45PM