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HER Number:MDV20709
Name:Settlement, North East of Thorverton


The remains of rectilinear ditched enclosures of probable later-prehistoric to Roman date are visible on aerial photographs as cropmarks on the western edge of the Exe Valley, south of Bidwell.


Grid Reference:SS 934 026
Map Sheet:SS90SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishThorverton
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishUNKNOWN

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Romano-British enclosures and linears north west of Upexe Mill

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 899646
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS90SW/78

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

NMR, SS90SW28 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV56277.

Rapid examination of aerial photograph shows cropmarks of enclosed Roman settlement. Includes 3 rectilinear enclosures, at SS93440266, SS93440257 & SS93460252. The first may be double ditched & has a south facing entrance, as does the second (citing Miller).

NMR, SS9302, 7-8,10-13,16-25,37-43. (Aerial Photograph). SDV56289.

Uglow, J., 1983, Slides (Ground Photograph). SDV56280.

Other details: 2 of site + Romano British pot.

Uglow, J., 1983, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV56270.

Pot and tile scatter in field shown on 19C Tithe Map as 'Barn Close' though with no barn is shown on the map. Pot identified as Romano British. Other details: Visited May 1983.

Uglow, J. + Griffith, F. M. + Coe, 1983, Untitled Source (Site Visit). SDV56271.

Field walked again. Five more Roman sherds and flints including four scrapers. Other details: Notes & plan + Bidwell pottery comments of 1985.

Griffith, F. M., 1983, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV56273.

Limited excavation by John Uglow in 1980s revealed Roman features & a considerable volume of 3rd - 4th century pottery.

Devon County Council, 1984, DAP 3519, DAP 3519/09-09A 03-JUL-1984 (AW) (Aerial Photograph). SDV358009.

Linear cropmarks are visible.

Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/AW, 8,9,9a (Aerial Photograph). SDV321034.

Complex cropmarks of enclosure and linear features recorded in 1984.

English Heritage, 1984, NMR 2163, NMR 2163/71-72 02-JUL-1984 (Aerial Photograph). SDV357051.

Linear cropmarks are visible.

Griffith, F. M., 1989, DAP/LG, 4-5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV56290.

Robinson, R., 1991, Untitled Source, Photos O/15a-17A (Site Visit). SDV56276.

Site lies on a north to south spur above the flood plain of the River Exe, on a moderate south to southeast slope. Land falls steeply to the river on the east and more gently to the west. The only visible feature is a faint hollow in the region of the south side of the northern enclosure. Other details: DPRFP.

Horner, B., 1994, DAP/WN, DCC DAP/WN36A 14-JUL-1994 (Aerial Photograph). SDV321069.

Linear cropmarks are visible.

Griffith, F. M., 1994, DAP/WO 0-2 & DAP/WN 36a, WO/0-2 + WN/36a (Aerial Photograph). SDV56274.

Further aerial photographs were taken in 1994.

Uglow, J., 1994, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV56275.

Stone pivot socket found during field walking. Other details: Note + photograph.

Miller, A., 1996, RCHME Aerial Photograph Primary Recording Project (Interpretation). SDV53184.

Other details: RCHME Aerial Photographic primary recording project.

Uglow, J., 2000, Three Romano-British sites in the Lower Exe Valley, 227-47 (Article in Serial). SDV120015.

Excavation at the site known as 'Overland' in 1986 revealed a ditch corresponding to an east to west crop mark. The fill of the ditch produced Romano-British pottery, part of a 'fibula' & 'pila' fragments. A trench in the area of a rectangular crop mark may have located the remains of an external bank with a slag scatter suggesting a work area. An excavated pit may have been the centre of a mound.

Wilkes, E. M. + Griffith, F.M., 2012, Cadbury Castle, Devon, Reconsidered (Article in Serial). SDV354394.

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

The remains of rectilinear ditched enclosures of probable later-prehistoric to Roman date are visible on aerial photographs as cropmarks overlooking the Exe Valley, from the south-facing ridge of a combe slope south of Bidwell.
A possibly triple ditched square enclosure is centred at circa SS93450265. The central enclosure measures circa 30 metres square with two possible external ditches visible as fragmentary cropmarks at approximately 5 metre intervals. A break in the southern edge of the central enclosure might be an entrance circa 10 metres wide, although this might be an effect of an area of deeper soils, potentially later quarrying, resulting in a dark oval cropmark.
A second, less regular cropmark enclosure centred on circa SS93460259 might cut or be cut by the external ditches of possible triple ditched enclosure, which could support an interpretation of a multi-phase settlement.
A curvilinear cropmark of a roughly west to east aligned earthwork bank flanked by ditches, centred on circa SS93450258, probably corresponds with a boundary depicted on the Ordnance Survey Second Edition 25 inch map. However, this has been transcribed as the cropmark might support the interpretation that the boundary incorporated ditched boundaries on a slightly different alignment and possibly earlier date.
Additional linear ditched features continuing further downslope might be evidence for further enclosures or a field system associated with the settlement to the north.
Although the enclosures appear to be aligned along the ridge, roughly NNW-SSE, this might be an effect of increased cropmark visibility on the shallower soils along the ridge of the scarp, and it is likely that the ditch defined enclosures continue to the east and west. Further investigative work, such as geophysical survey is recommended to ascertain the extent of the ditched features.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV120015Article in Serial: Uglow, J.. 2000. Three Romano-British sites in the Lower Exe Valley. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 58. Paperback Volume. 227-47.
SDV321034Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/AW. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 8,9,9a.
SDV321069Aerial Photograph: Horner, B.. 1994. DAP/WN. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DCC DAP/WN36A 14-JUL-1994.
SDV354394Article in Serial: Wilkes, E. M. + Griffith, F.M.. 2012. Cadbury Castle, Devon, Reconsidered. Archaeological Journal. 169. Offprint + Digital.
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
SDV357051Aerial Photograph: English Heritage. 1984. NMR 2163. English Heritage. Photograph (Paper). NMR 2163/71-72 02-JUL-1984. [Mapped feature: #82885 ]
SDV358009Aerial Photograph: Devon County Council. 1984. DAP 3519. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DAP 3519/09-09A 03-JUL-1984 (AW).
SDV53184Interpretation: Miller, A.. 1996. RCHME Aerial Photograph Primary Recording Project. RCHME Aerial Photograph Primary Recording Project. Map (Paper).
SDV56270Worksheet: Uglow, J.. 1983. Site: T22.
SDV56271Site Visit: Uglow, J. + Griffith, F. M. + Coe. 1983.
SDV56273Worksheet: Griffith, F. M.. 1983.
SDV56274Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1994. DAP/WO 0-2 & DAP/WN 36a. DAP/WO & DAP/WN. WO/0-2 + WN/36a.
SDV56275Worksheet: Uglow, J.. 1994.
SDV56276Site Visit: Robinson, R.. 1991. Photos O/15a-17A.
SDV56277National Monuments Record Database: NMR. SS90SW28. SS90SW 28.
SDV56280Ground Photograph: Uglow, J.. 1983. Slides.
SDV56289Aerial Photograph: NMR. SS9302. SS9302. 7-8,10-13,16-25,37-43..
SDV56290Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1989. DAP/LG. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4-5.

Associated Monuments

MDV61704Related to: Flint Tools from field to north of Courthayes Thorverton (Monument)
MDV61705Related to: Late Bronze Age Pottery Sherds from field to north of Courthayes Lane, Thorverton (Monument)
MDV72376Related to: Thorverton, Stone Cobble Feature (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV190 - ORNAMENT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV189 - POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV192 - SLAG (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FDV191 - TILE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV1015 - DAP/AW
  • EDV1016 - DAP/WO 0-2 & DAP/WN 36a
  • EDV1017 - Unnamed Event
  • EDV1018 - DAP/LG
  • EDV6530 - The East and Mid-Devon Rivers Catchment NMP project (Ref: ACD613)

Date Last Edited:Sep 2 2019 11:40AM