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HER Number:MDV1666
Name:Hillfort in South Longridge Woods, Lydford

Summary

Prehistoric hillfort with a Medieval settlement inside located in South Longridge Woods

Location

Grid Reference:SX 497 838
Map Sheet:SX48SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishLydford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIDESTOWE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 438143
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX48SE/10
  • Old SAM County Ref: 986
  • Old SAM Ref: 30349
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX48SE9

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HILLFORT (Iron Age - 700 BC to 42 AD (Between))

Full description

Silvester, R. J. + Balkwill, C.J., Enclosure at South Longridge, Bridestowe (Plan - measured). SDV342596.


Royal Air Force, 13/04/1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1995, 3388 (Aerial Photograph). SDV224714.

Other details: HER 41/52.


Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/2149, 4284-5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV282746.

Other details: HER 41/101.


Royal Air Force, 1949, RAF/540/176/5004 (Aerial Photograph). SDV342598.

Other details: Sketch in parish file.


Forrester, S., 1976, Archaeological Sites in Lydford Woods (Correspondence). SDV342599.

Two earthworks believed to be of Iron Age origin found in Lydford Woods, on land which has probably been under tree crops for many centuries. The sites are being scheduled as Ancient Monuments to establish statutory protection.


Unknown, 1976, Untitled Source (Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry). SDV342595.

Visited during March 1976. Rectangular enclosure with bank and ditch, univallate hillfort. Possibly internal structures showing. Occupies end of spur site in Lydford Forest. Not on maps. Considered as round-type settlement. Plan prepared. Internal foundations visible, several sub-rectangular buildings against rampart and long, parallel banks with internal subdivisions in centre. Cut through by Forestry Commission road, probably at original entrance facing south-east. Linear bank along top of ridge abuts earthwork at south-east corner. Scale drawings and location map in parish file.


Department of Environment, 1977, Enclosure in South Longridge Wood (Schedule Document). SDV342589.

Enclosure in South Longridge Wood. Sub-circular enclosure circa 85 metres in diameter, the southern sector of which has been cut through by a footpath. The bank is 5-6 feet high internally, 6-10 feet high externally from the bottom of the ditch, and is circa 15 feet wide. The ditch is 12 feet wide, 2-3 feet deep. The natural slope of the land is steepest on the north where the land falls sharply to the Lyd, but the ditch on this side is especially strong and cut out of the rock. Internally, a group of rectangular and circular structures can be seen, though of what date these structures are, it is difficult to be sure. The monument is overgrown with grass and young silver birch. Other details: Monument 986, Plan.


Silvester, R. J. + Balkwill, C.J., 1977, Three Hill-slope Enclosures in the Lyd Valley, West Devon, 81-84 (Article in Serial). SDV342586.

Substantial defences were constructed on the east and west sides of the enclosure, and above the River Lyd to the south the natural defences are reinforced by a ditch, the bottom of which is three to four metres below the crest of an almost vertically sided bank. The only easy approach is from the north-east, but on the north side a modern trackway has been cut through the defences, obliterating the entrance, and the bank has been reduced to a scarp with no indication of a ditch. The construction of the modern track has left a section through the defences on the west side, indicating that the rampart is of dumped slate and earth, with no evidence of a revetment. Other details: Figures 1 and 2.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1978, SX48SE9 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV342594.

In South Longridge Wood is a sub-circular enclosure about 85 metres in diameter, the southern sector of which has been cut through by a footpath. The bank is 5 to 6 feet high internally, 6 to 10 feet high externally, from the bottom of the ditch, and is about 15 feet wide. The ditch is 12 feet wide, and 2 to 3 feet deep. The natural slope of the land is deepest on the north where the land falls sharply to the Lyd, but the ditch on this side is especially strong, and out of the rock. Internally, a group of rectangular and circular structures can be seen, though of what date these structures are, is difficult to be sure. DOE (IAM) Record Form 09/04/1976.

The monument is overgrown with grass and young silver birch. Site visit, 19/06/1978.


Griffith, F. M., 1993, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV342587.

The enclosure and its internal earthworks show very clearly on April 1947 Royal Air Force aerial photograph, and slightly less so on June 1947 ones. The internal earthworks appear more extensive than in Silvester and Balkwill's published plan, and several linear earthworks, either holloways or leats, can be seen immediately to the east of the enclosure. In 1947 the site is still clear of planting, with no evidence of former afforestation.


Griffith, F. M., 1994, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV342590.

Visited on 30th March 1994 with S Gerrard. The structures inside this enclosure show very much more clearly than on Silvester and Balkwill's plan, and the central (north-west-south east) structure appears to be a large longhouse with three clear rooms. Against the south side of the inside of the enclosure there is another large level platform, possibly another house site. Overall site condition good, though invasive tree growth occurring on the banks again. Will certainly repay detailed survey in this condition. The overall interpretation is unclear. The profile of the quite massive banksis moderately sharp, and it is possible that the whole site may all be contemporary, that is medieval, in which case the juxtaposition with the tinstreaming area at the bottom of the slope, directly connected by a trackway, is of intense interest. The same is true even if the primary enclosure is seen as prehistoric, reused, since though the platforms are of ambiguous date, the interpretation of the major structure in the centre of the site as a longhouse seems secure.


Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1998, Hillfort and Medieval Settlement in South Longridge Wood (Schedule Document). SDV342588.

Iron Age univallate hillfort with internal Medieval structures. Situated on the top of a steep slope overlooking the valley of the River Lyd to the south and a further steep valley to the north. The hillfort survives as rectangular enclosure defined by a rampart and outer ditch with medieval structures within which attest to subsequent reuse. The enclosed area is 66.5 metres north-south by 62 metres east-west.The outer ditch which surrounds the monument on three sides measures up to 5.2 metres wide and 1.1 metres deep. To the north this ditch is replaced by a steep natural scarp. The rampart is up to 9 metres wide at the base and up to 1.4 metres high internally. To the south an outer bank is also apparent above a very steep natural slope. This measures up to 1.4 metres wide and 0.3 metres high. The whole enclosure slopes gently to the north. There is an apparent entrance on the eastern side. Within the hillfort are a range of Medieval structures. Central to the area is a longhouse, 29.3 metres by 6.3 metres internally, defined by low banks up to 1.2 metres wide and 0.4 metres high. Surrounding this, on all but the southern side, are a series of circular and oval pits and depressions, as well as a two celled building and a square structure, representing further traces of the site's medieval occupation. Despite afforestation the hillfort in Longridge Wood survives well and provides information concerning the character of Iron Age occupation on the fringes of Dartmoor. This enclosure is one of a group of three later Prehistoric enclosures lying within the Lyd valley. The reuse of the hillfort in the Medieval period is unusual and provides evidence for continuity of occupation. The location of the hillfort and settlement immediately above a rich alluvial tin deposit may suggest that they were sited to take advantage of this resource. Other details: Monument 30349.


Knight, S., 2009, Site Visit for ARCS 15033-15035 (Personal Comment). SDV343130.

Area being sprayed by the Forestry Commission as part of agreed management works.


National Monuments Record, 2010, 438143 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV345619.

An Iron Age univallate hillfort with internal medieval structures. It is situated on the top of a steep slope overlooking the valley of the River Lyd to the south and a further steep valley to the north. The hillfort survives as a rectangular enclosure defined by a rampart and outer ditch, with medieval structures within which attest to subsequent reuse. The enclosed area measures 66.5 metres long from north to south by 62 metres wide from east to west. The outer ditch which surrounds the monument on three sides measures up to 5.2 metres wide and 1.1 metre deep. To the north this ditch is replaced by a steep natural scarp. The rampart measures up to 9 metres wide at the base and up to 1.4 metres high internally. To the south an outer bank is apparent above a very steep natural slope, this measures up to 1.4 metres wide and 0.3 metres high. The whole enclosure slopes gently to the north. There is an apparent entrance on the eastern side. Within the hillfort are a range of medival structures. Central to the area is a longhouse which measures internally 29.3 metres long, 6.3 metres wide and is defined by low banks which measure up to 1.2 metres wide and 0.4 metres high. Surrounding this, on all but the southern side, are a series of circular and oval pits and depressions, as well as a two celled building and a square structure, representing further traces of the site's medieval occupation.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV224714Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 13/04/1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1995. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3388.
SDV282746Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/2149. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4284-5.
SDV342586Article in Serial: Silvester, R. J. + Balkwill, C.J.. 1977. Three Hill-slope Enclosures in the Lyd Valley, West Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 35. Paperback Volume. 81-84.
SDV342587Personal Comment: Griffith, F. M.. 1993.
SDV342588Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1998. Hillfort and Medieval Settlement in South Longridge Wood. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled. [Mapped feature: #81839 ]
SDV342589Schedule Document: Department of Environment. 1977. Enclosure in South Longridge Wood. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV342590Personal Comment: Griffith, F. M.. 1994.
SDV342594Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1978. SX48SE9. OSAD Card. Card Index + Digital.
SDV342595Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry: Unknown. 1976.
SDV342596Plan - measured: Silvester, R. J. + Balkwill, C.J.. Enclosure at South Longridge, Bridestowe. A4 Unbound.
SDV342598Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1949. RAF/540/176/5004. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
SDV342599Correspondence: Forrester, S.. 1976. Archaeological Sites in Lydford Woods. Notes of Meeting at Lydford Woods on Tuesday 12 October 1976. A4 Stapled.
SDV343130Personal Comment: Knight, S.. 2009. Site Visit for ARCS 15033-15035. Not Applicable.
SDV345619National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. 438143. National Monuments Record Database. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV75586Parent of: Medieval Settlement in South Longridge Woods (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4554 - Site Visit to Woodland in Lydford and Brentor

Date Last Edited:Apr 17 2019 4:15PM