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HER Number:MDV17715
Name:Geological Cropmarks, Enclosures and Ring Ditches to the North-East of Kennford


A possible enclosure surrounding two ring ditches & other features to the northeast of Kennford is broad and amorphous, and interpreted as more likely to be of geological origin.


Grid Reference:SX 919 867
Map Sheet:SX98NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishExminster
Civil ParishKenn
Ecclesiastical ParishKENN

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Prehistoric enclosure and ring ditches north east of Kennford

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX98NW/63

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • GEOLOGICAL MARKS (Unknown date)
  • ENCLOSURE (Prehistoric - 698000 BC to 42 AD (Between))
  • RING DITCH (Prehistoric - 698000 BC to 42 AD (Between))

Full description

Cambridge University Collection, 1975, CUC/BTS, 62-3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV119928.

On Cambridge Air Photograph, two ring ditches are shown to the northeast of Kennford, at approximately SX91968675 and SX92018674. The western one is the smaller, and appears to be a single ditch. The eastern one appears to be larger, though only part of a circle is visible. This is either a double or triple ditch. Both show as positive cropmarks. Diameter difficult to assess. Smaller approximately15 meters diameter, larger approximately 30 meters diameter. Linear features to north & south. Other details: BTS 63 in HER.

Cambridge University, 1975, CUC/BUO, 21-25 (Aerial Photograph). SDV237834.

Other details: BUO 24 in HER.

Cambridge University, 1980, CUC/CMN, 8-12, 16-20 (Aerial Photograph). SDV338506.

Other details: CMN 20 in HER.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1982, SX98NW36 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV338502.

Site visited. The cropmarks lie on a slight east facing slope at about 103.0 meters OD, just below the crest of a hill. Nothing is visible on the ground, currently under crops. The hilltop position and size suggest barrows.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/ET, 5-6 (Aerial Photograph). SDV338504.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/EZ, 4-5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV286402.

Robinson, R., 1987 - 2000, Devon Post-Reconnaissance Fieldwork Project (Un-published). SDV342165.

Nothing visible on ring ditch sites. Linear features to north and south may represent approaches to large quarry on west side of hill. Faint hollow way on the north, more pronounced track on south side. Other details: Photographs J 4-8.

Griffith, F. M., 1989, DAP/LX, 1, 5 & 8 (Aerial Photograph). SDV338507.

Griffith, F. M., 1991, DAP/UN, 10-15 (Aerial Photograph). SDV237285.

Manning, P. T. + Turton, S. D., 1995, Archaeological assessment of the Kenn to Ashcombe gas pipeline, 6 (Report - Assessment). SDV337359.

Goodwin, N., 2006, Archaeological Watching Brief on an Electricity Cable Diversion, Kennford, Kenn (Report - Watching Brief). SDV338501.

These features were not identified in the trench excavated across the site in 2006.

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

Numerous cropmarks are visible on the hill above Quarry Copse on aerial photographs taken between 1947 and 1991. Around the lower slopes of the hill, broadly following the contour or perpendicular to it, are several broad dark curvilinear cropmarks. These are of very variable width, do not seem to form a coherent pattern, and when at their clearest on aerial photographs from 1991, they appear to merge with each other, forming an amorphous looped shape. It is therefore considered most likely that these cropmarks, together with those in fields to the west and south, are of geological origin, an interpretation that might be confirmed by the absence of in-situ archaeological features encountered during the monitoring of an electricity cable trench excavated across this area in 2006. The trench was not archaeologically observed where it intersects with two of the three more convincing archaeological features visible on the higher slopes; these have been recorded separately as MDV112744, MDV112745 and MDV112746.
Many of the aerial photographs consulted by the survey are copies of DAPs held by the Historic England Archive. In some cases these have been recorded as separate sources. This is because variations in the way the prints have been processed could result in images on which archaeological features are visible to a greater or lesser degree.

Devon County Council, 2019, Google Earth Aerial Photograph Pilot Project, GE91 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363341.

(SX 91959 86760) Enclosures, ring ditches and linears north-east of Kennford. Rectilinear enclosure and ring ditch MDV112744, ring ditches MDV112745, ring ditch and curvilinear enclosure MDV112746 and linears extending into the field to the west identified from the 2018 Google Earth aerial photography. Some may be geological marks MDV17715 but some of the marks are very circular and are respected by the possible enclosures. Bronze Age to Romano-British in date.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV119928Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University Collection. 1975. CUC/BTS. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 62-3.
SDV237285Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1991. DAP/UN. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 10-15.
SDV237834Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1975. CUC/BUO. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 21-25.
SDV286402Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/EZ. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4-5.
SDV337359Report - Assessment: Manning, P. T. + Turton, S. D.. 1995. Archaeological assessment of the Kenn to Ashcombe gas pipeline. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 95.14. A4 Stapled + Digital. 6.
SDV338501Report - Watching Brief: Goodwin, N.. 2006. Archaeological Watching Brief on an Electricity Cable Diversion, Kennford, Kenn. Exeter Archaeology Report. Project 5875. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV338502Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1982. SX98NW36. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV338504Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/ET. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 5-6.
SDV338506Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1980. CUC/CMN. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 8-12, 16-20.
SDV338507Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1989. DAP/LX. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1, 5 & 8.
SDV342165Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1987 - 2000. Devon Post-Reconnaissance Fieldwork Project. Devon Post-Reconnaissance Fieldwork Project. A4 Unbound.
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

Associated Monuments

MDV112746Parent of: Ring Ditch and Curvilinear Enclosure East of Quarry Copse (Monument)
MDV112745Parent of: Ring Ditch East of Quarry Copse (Monument)
MDV112744Parent of: Ring Ditch Within Rectilinear Enclosure East of Quarry Copse (Monument)
MDV14540Related to: Flint Scatter to the north of Kennford (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4223 - Electricity Cable Diversion, Kennford, Kenn
  • EDV6530 - The East and Mid-Devon Rivers Catchment NMP project (Ref: ACD613)

Date Last Edited:Apr 8 2020 10:24AM