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HER Number:MDV159
Name:Woodford Wood Motte and Bailey


Medieval motte and bailey in Woodford Wood. Ditched enclosure within which is a possible motte defined by ditch and crescent shaped bank.


Grid Reference:SS 397 126
Map Sheet:SS31SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishMilton Damerel
Ecclesiastical ParishMILTON DAMEREL

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS31SE/3
  • Old SAM County Ref: 755
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS31SE6

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CASTLE (Early Iron Age to XIV - 700 BC to 1400 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Shown as a horseshoe shaped enclosure in Woddfrod Wood on 19th century map.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Shown as 'Roman Camp' on early 20th century map.

Wall, J. C., 1906, Ancient Earthworks, 619-620 (Article in Monograph). SDV341465.

Camp in Woodford Wood. Motte and bailey in Woodford Wood. Ditched enclosure within which is possible motte defined by ditch and crescent shaped bank. Other details: Plan.

Unknown, 1946, 3G/TUD/UK 158/5297 (Aerial Photograph). SDV337645.

Department of Environment, 1969, Woodford Wood Motte and Bailey (Schedule Document). SDV337646.

Scheduled as an Iron Age enclosure. 'D'- shaped univallate camp, marked 'Roman Camp' on ordnance survey map. There may have been an entrance on the north side crossed by a later boundary bank. Under thick undergrowth.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1977, SS31SE6 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV337641.

This small motte and bailey lies at the northeastern end of a broad spur above a very steep sided valley of River Torridge. The motte has elliptical top 16 metres by 10 metres, badly mutilated by nearby modern bank and ditch. Motte ditch 6 metres wide average 1 metre deep damaged by small quarry on the north-west side. Sub-rectangular bailey 23 metres north-east to south-west and 27 metres north-west to south-east on lower ground to the north-east of the motte. The north-west bank and ditch are well preserved, that on south-east side is poorer and of a different character. At north and east angles, both bank and ditch turn and terminate abruptly, the intervening gap being a naturally steep slope possibly augmented by scarring. Original entrance lies in west angle protected by motte, and is represented by a causeway across and askew to the ditch. No evidence of internal structures. In addition a bank with outer 2 metre wide and 0.2 metre high lies parallel and 0.5 metres from the motte ditch, on the south-west side a similar bank forms a small sub-rectangular enclosure outside bailey entrance. These have been laid out with specific reference to the motte and the bailey entrance, and pre-date modern bank and ditch, possibly remains of outwork and barbican possibly palisade banks. Another low bank runs from bailey ditch to south-east for 20 metres to the edge of natural slope, with no obvious planned relationship to the main works. Other details: Plans.

Weston, S., 1979, Field Monument Warden Visit (Personal Comment). SDV337644.

A small mound in a large enclosure. Both are surrounded by clearly visible ditches, the outer being 2 metres deep and bank 1 metre high. Entrance on north side. Whole monument bisected by hedgebank and ditch which seems to be part of an old division of the woodland as suggested by old maps.

Higham, R. A., 1979, The Castles of Medieval Devon, 20-121,248,260,279,294, 296,315,317,321 (Post-Graduate Thesis). SDV336189.

Motte and bailey of unusual form, the motte being formed by a crescentic bank at the W end of the bailey enclosure. Possibly an Iron Age enclosure modified by the insertion of a western bank. Its medieval history is undocumented, but it was probably founded in the 1130s or 1140s, during the Civil War. Its closeness to Durpley may reflect local antagonism. Other details: Fig 34.

Silvester, R. J. + Higham, R. A., 1980, Domestic Enclosures of Probable Medieval Date, 63-65 (Article in Serial). SDV55518.

Higham, R. A., 1988, Devon Castles: An Annotated List, 144 (Article in Serial). SDV341278.

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

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336189Post-Graduate Thesis: Higham, R. A.. 1979. The Castles of Medieval Devon. University of Exeter Thesis. Unknown. 20-121,248,260,279,294, 296,315,317,321.
SDV337641Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1977. SS31SE6. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV337644Personal Comment: Weston, S.. 1979. Field Monument Warden Visit.
SDV337645Aerial Photograph: Unknown. 1946. 3G/TUD/UK 158/5297. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
SDV337646Schedule Document: Department of Environment. 1969. Woodford Wood Motte and Bailey. The Schedule of Monuments. Unknown.
SDV341278Article in Serial: Higham, R. A.. 1988. Devon Castles: An Annotated List. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 46. Paperback Volume. 144.
SDV341465Article in Monograph: Wall, J. C.. 1906. Ancient Earthworks. Victoria History of the County of Devon. Hardback Volume. 619-620.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #81674 ]
SDV55518Article in Serial: Silvester, R. J. + Higham, R. A.. 1980. Domestic Enclosures of Probable Medieval Date. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 38. Paperback Volume. 63-65.

Associated Monuments

MDV456Related to: Durpley Castle, Shebbear (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Oct 18 2010 9:55AM