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HER Number:MDV15472
Name:Saxon Burh at Halwell Camp

Summary

Possible site of a Saxon Burh at Halwell Camp

Location

Grid Reference:SX 784 532
Map Sheet:SX75SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishHalwell and Moreleigh
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishHALWELL

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX75SE/8/1
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX75SE13

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BURH (VIII to Late Medieval - 701 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

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


Rea, C. F., 1924, The Bastewalls of Totnes, 210 (Article in Serial). SDV174635.

Halwell was one of a chain of Burhs extending from Hastings to Lydford set up about King Alfred's time. A little later Halwell disappears from this chain to be replaced by Totnes which was better defended.


Alexander, J. J., 1926, The Early Boroughs of Devon, 276-7 (Article in Serial). SDV336875.


Alexander, J. J., 1929, 2nd Report on Early History of Devon, 135 (Article in Serial). SDV75185.


Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 104,402 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Possible site of Saxon Burh, one of four set up by Alfred in the late 9th century, for defence against the Danes. Within a century it had been supplanted by Totnes. The other three Burhs were Exeter, Lydford and Pilton.


Unknown, 1978, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV342036.

Other details: Ethelred the Unready.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980, SX75SE13 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV342031.

Halwell is one of the forts of the Burghal Hidage of circa 918AD, with 300 hides allocated for its support. It was replaced in the reign of Athelstan by the commercially more effective site of Totnes.
Wilson lists it among 'Re-used Iron Age or Roman Forts'. From the figures given by the Burghal Hidage (a requirement of 16 men for the maintenance and defence of each acre's breadth of 4 poles), a perimeter of about 412 yards (385 metres) is implied for Halwell.
Hill points out that both the 'Camps' in Halwell parish (Stanborough and Halwell) have circuits of the right order. As yet there is no evidence of Saxon occupation at either camp, although a circular earthwork at Stanborough has been described as a possible Saxon ringwork, and the Iron Age fort there commands a vast stretch of country, including the open shore of Start Bay.


Unknown, 1984, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV342032.


Slater, T. R., 1991, Controlling the South Hams: The Anglo-Saxon burh at Halwell, 57-8 (Article in Serial). SDV155659.

The hub of the Saxon South Hams defensive system may have been newly constructed in the Anglo-Saxon period. Burh of 300 hides, possibly responsible for the defence of Plympton, Ermington, Stanborough, Colereidge and Haytor. One third of defenders may have been drawn from Cornwall. Located on a ridge of marginal land probably used for common pasture in the 9th century. Within the Royal Manor of Harberton, held by Gytha, Earl Harold's mother, in 1066. Other details: Figures 1-5.


Harvey, P. L., 2000, An Earthwork Survey of Halwell Camp, Halwell (Post-Graduate Thesis). SDV342027.

Earthwork survey at 'HalwellCcamp' found no firm evidence for it being the site of an Anglo-Saxon Burh.


Fletcher, M., 2001, Halwell Camp, Bickleigh, Brake Barrow Group and the Boreston Catchwater System: Survey Report (Report - Survey). SDV339227.

Halwell is a possible site for a fort of the 'Burghal Hidage' circa 918AD when the Iron Age ditched enclosure was reused.


Freeman, J., 2006, Archaeological Monitoring of Topsoil Stripping at South Hams Flying Club, Halwell, Devon (Report - Watching Brief). SDV343961.

No archaeological features or significant deposits were revealed during topsoil stripping to south of Halwell Camp. Other details: Map.


Austin, J., 2008, Monitoring and Recording during the Widening of the A3122 between Halwell Cross and Halwell Business Park (Report - Watching Brief). SDV342029.


National Monuments Record, 2009, 444680 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV342033.

The burh of 'Hacganwille' at Halwell is first recorded in the Burghal Hidage circa 918 AD. Identified with Halwell Camp, although Stanwell Camp in the same parish may also be a Saxon ringwork.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV155659Article in Serial: Slater, T. R.. 1991. Controlling the South Hams: The Anglo-Saxon burh at Halwell. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 123. A5 Paperback. 57-8.
SDV174635Article in Serial: Rea, C. F.. 1924. The Bastewalls of Totnes. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 56. A5 Hardback. 210.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 104,402.
SDV336875Article in Serial: Alexander, J. J.. 1926. The Early Boroughs of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 58. A5 Paperback. 276-7.
SDV339227Report - Survey: Fletcher, M.. 2001. Halwell Camp, Bickleigh, Brake Barrow Group and the Boreston Catchwater System: Survey Report. English Heritage Report. AI/23/2001. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV341465Article in Monograph: Wall, J. C.. 1906. Ancient Earthworks. Victoria History of the County of Devon. Hardback Volume. 605.
SDV342027Post-Graduate Thesis: Harvey, P. L.. 2000. An Earthwork Survey of Halwell Camp, Halwell. Bristol University Thesis. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV342029Report - Watching Brief: Austin, J.. 2008. Monitoring and Recording during the Widening of the A3122 between Halwell Cross and Halwell Business Park. Exeter Archaeology Report. Project 6365. A4 Single Sheet + Digital.
SDV342031Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980. SX75SE13. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV342032Monograph: Unknown. 1984. The Towns of Devon. Unknown.
SDV342033National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2009. 444680. National Monuments Record Index. Website.
SDV342036Monograph: Unknown. 1978. Trends in the Development of Towns during the Reign of Ethelred II. BAR 59. Unknown.
SDV343961Report - Watching Brief: Freeman, J.. 2006. Archaeological Monitoring of Topsoil Stripping at South Hams Flying Club, Halwell, Devon. Southwest Archaeology Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV75185Article in Serial: Alexander, J. J.. 1929. 2nd Report on Early History of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 61. A5 Hardback. 135.

Associated Monuments

MDV7630Part of: Iron Age Hillfort at Halwell Camp (Monument)
MDV64456Related to: Two Bowl Barrows North of Halwell Camp (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4466 - Watching Brief to the southwest of Halwell Camp
  • EDV4569 - Archaeological Monitoring of Topsoil Stripping at South Hams Flying Club, Halwell, Devon

Date Last Edited:Dec 16 2009 11:22AM