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HER Number:MDV28313
Name:Hillfort at Berber Hill, Kenn


An oval bank and ditch defined enclosure is visible as earthworks close to the summit of Berber Hill, Kenn, on aerial photographs of the 1940s and 1980s. The earthworks are interpreted as evidence of a possible hillfort of later prehistoric date. Possible annexes are visible to the south-east, north-west and north-east of the enclosure.


Grid Reference:SX 924 845
Map Sheet:SX98SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishKenn
Ecclesiastical ParishUNKNOWN
Ecclesiastical ParishKENN

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Berber Hill. Iron Age Hillfort north west of Whitcombe

Other References/Statuses

  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 1048973
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX98SW/45

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

GRIFFITH 1984, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV261579.

The hill is given as 'berberry' in the kenn t. A. Of 1841. An oval enclosure with annexes formed by wide-spaced ditches to n and s. Entrance to the central enclosure seems to be on the w side, protected by an outwork represented by a short, curving ditch (griffith 1984).

APS, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV308494.

Berber hill, kenn. A hillfort discovered as a cropmark by aerial photography in 1984. The hilltop is surrounded by a ditch with internal area 150m x 80m, and annexes are attached to the north and south on gentle slopes (aps).

GRIFFITH + CAIRNS, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV308495.

-/1/1985 (griffith + cairns) the rampart is still visible both under the existing hedge on the west of the hilltop and as a low rise in the field to the east. See ground photo in griffith 1984.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV308497.

Tithe map trace in dprfp.

N END, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV308499.

The ground to the w of the w hedgebank/rampart is currently under turnips (n end) rough grass and young trees in sheaths (centre and pasture (s end). The hilltop to the e of the w bank and the e slopes are pasture.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV308501.

Griffith, f. M. /pdas/42(1984)7-10/aerial reconnaissance in devon in 1984:a preliminary report and the discovery of a hillfort.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV308502.

Aph=dap/aj 11,11a,12,ak 1,2(28/6/1984).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV308503.

Aph=dap/aq 9a,10,10a(2/7/1984).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV308504.

Aph=dap/bp 2(7/7/1984).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV308505.

Aph=dap/aj 9a,10,11,12(29/6/1984).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV308506.

Aph=dap/ak 1,2(29/6/1984).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV308507.

Aph=dap/bp 2(7/7/1984).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV308508.

Aph=dap/ez 3,3a(10/7/1985).

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV308509.

Aph=dap/eh 8,9(14/3/1985).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV308510.

Des=tithe map(dprfp).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV308511.

Des=ea/haldon ridge survey/(6/2/1997)/in smr.

Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV308512.

Aph=dap/uo 4-5(3/6/1991).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV79.

Vis=6/2/1997 (ea) hedge on w side of hilltop marks w rampart. 'low rise' rep. E rampart presumed to be bank which runs ne from kink in s end of w hedgebank, curving to a more northerly direction before petering out - c.78m in length. No other e boundary detected on hilltop. The feature on the ap attached to the nw corner of the rampart appears as a sloping terrace/or area enclosed by a ditch.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1412, RAF/106G/UK/1412 RP 3130-3131 13-APR-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352504.

Curvilinaer banks and hollows are visible as earthworks.

Devon County Council, 1984, DAP 9326, DAP 9326/2 29-JUN-1984 (AK) (Aerial Photograph). SDV361550.

Curvilinear ditches are visible as cropmarks.

English Heritage, 1984, NMR 2162, NMR 2162/0087 02-JUL-1984 (Aerial Photograph). SDV357530.

Curvilinear ditches are visible as cropmarks.

Griffith, F. M. + Wilkes, E. M., 2011, In the Footsteps of Pioneering Women; Some Recent Work on Devon Hillforts (Article in Serial). SDV361500.

Next Perspectives, 2015-2017, Aerial Photography for Great Britain - Digital Elevation Data (DSM), Next Perspectives APGB Elevation Data SX9284 19-JUL-2016 (Cartographic). SDV361521.

Curvilinear banks are visible as subtle earthworks.

Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2018-2019, The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 1, Haldon Ridge to Dart Valley (AI&M) (Interpretation). SDV361305.

Curvilinear banks and ditches are visible as earthworks and cropmarks on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards at Berber hill, Kenn. Curvilinear cropmarks of ditches up to 6m wide define an oval shaped enclosure close to the summit of Berber Hill circa 150 by 94m in size, centred on circa SX92438450. The extant field boundary closely follows the interior of the cropmark ditch defining the south and west side of the enclosure. It is probable this boundary was located on the rampart of the enclosure; this may survive as a low bank up to 10m wide following the inner edge of the northern and eastern cropmark ditch, visible on digital images visualised from photogrammetrically derived elevation data captured in 2016.
A subtler earthwork bank, spread up to circa 25m in width, might be the remains of a rampart defining an annexe up to 100m by 60m in size, abutting the south-east side of the hillfort. A ditch is visible as a cropmark on the outer edge of this earthwork, extending the possible annexe to the south.
Further curvilinear cropmarks of ditches might be evidence of annexes to the north-west and north-east of the hillfort, although that at circa SX927478426 might simply be forming over the field boundary ditch as depicted on the Tithe Map for Kenn.

Many of the aerial photographs consulted are copies of DAPs held by the Historic England Archive. These have been recorded here as separate sources as there is a possibility that variations in processing could result in images on which archaeological features show differently than on the original images.

Devon County Council, 2019, Google Earth Aerial Photograph Pilot Project, GE100 (Aerial Photograph). SDV363341.

(SX 92444 84498) Hillfort and linears at Berber Hill. Hillfort MDV28313 - multivallate and further linears visible on the 2018 Google earthe aerial photographs. Iron Age in date.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV261579Migrated Record: GRIFFITH 1984.
SDV308494Migrated Record: APS.
SDV308495Migrated Record: GRIFFITH + CAIRNS.
SDV308497Migrated Record:
SDV308499Migrated Record: N END.
SDV308501Migrated Record:
SDV308502Aerial Photograph:
SDV308503Aerial Photograph:
SDV308504Aerial Photograph:
SDV308505Aerial Photograph:
SDV308506Aerial Photograph:
SDV308507Aerial Photograph:
SDV308508Aerial Photograph:
SDV308509Aerial Photograph:
SDV308510Migrated Record:
SDV308511Migrated Record:
SDV308512Aerial Photograph:
SDV352504Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1412. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/106G/UK/1412 RP 3130-3131 13-APR-1946.
SDV357530Aerial Photograph: English Heritage. 1984. NMR 2162. NMR Aerial Photograph. Print. NMR 2162/0087 02-JUL-1984.
SDV361305Interpretation: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2018-2019. The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 1, Haldon Ridge to Dart Valley (AI&M). Historic England Research Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV361500Article in Serial: Griffith, F. M. + Wilkes, E. M.. 2011. In the Footsteps of Pioneering Women; Some Recent Work on Devon Hillforts. British Archaeological Reports. 548. Paperback Volume.
SDV361521Cartographic: Next Perspectives. 2015-2017. Aerial Photography for Great Britain - Digital Elevation Data (DSM). Aerial Photography for Great Britain Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives APGB Elevation Data SX9284 19-JUL-2016.
SDV361550Aerial Photograph: Devon County Council. 1984. DAP 9326. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DAP 9326/2 29-JUN-1984 (AK).
SDV79Migrated Record:

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7515 - The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping (formerly NMP) Survey (Ref: ACD1748)

Date Last Edited:Apr 8 2020 11:05AM