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HER Number:MDV284
Name:Castle Hill Settlement


Castle Hill Settlement an Iron Age univallate hillfort 350 metres south of Woolleigh Bridge


Grid Reference:SS 523 168
Map Sheet:SS51NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBeaford
Ecclesiastical ParishBEAFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 33586
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS51NW/6
  • Old SAM County Ref: 36044
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS51NW8

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

National Monuments Record, SS5216 (Aerial Photograph). SDV21113.

NMR, citing Hogg, Untitled Source (National Monuments Record Database). SDV21109.

Univallate hillfort covering 1.6ha.

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

'Castle (Camp) (Remains of)' shown as an ovoid feature on 19th century map on 'Castle Hill' between 'Castle Covert' and 'Blinsham Wood'.

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

'Castle (Camp)' on Castle Hill shown on early 20th century map.

Wall, J. C., 1906, Ancient Earthworks, 602 (Article in Monograph). SDV341465.

Ancient Monuments, 1922, Untitled Source (Un-published). SDV21105.

A camp, of which only a portion on the west and south remains. Consists of a bank with trench outside and the ground inside the enclosure rises slightly. Much of the earthwork appears to have been merged into the hedges surrounding the enclosure.

Royal Air Force, 1947, CPE/UK 1989, 3142-3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV336892.

Other details: DCC 18/10-12.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1973, SS51NW8 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV21106.

A defended Iron Age ovoid settlement now under cultivation, occupies the end of a small promontory. It is approached from the east along a narrow ridge. The greater part of the circumference has been utilised as a modern field boundary. On the south east side the defence is univallate with a bank up to 1.5 metres high. The ditch has been filled and terraced to form a now disused trackway. Here also a steep sided river valley affords strong protection. At the southwest promontory end the bank and ditch having been reduced by ploughing to a faint scarp 0.8 metres high. To the north the earthwork becomes multivallate for a distance of 200 metres, having an inner bank 1.6 metres high and an outer bank 2.6 metres high. The inner ditch is represented by an overgrown hollow farm track. The northeast end has been mutilated but appears to have had an offset inturned entrance flanked by outturned outer banks. Other details: Plan.

Hogg, A. H. A., 1979, British Hillforts: An Index, 192 (Monograph). SDV7953.

Griffith, F. M., 1983, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV21107.

Site in general as recorded by the Ordnance Survey Plan Revision of 1973: the detail of the outworks at the eastern end appears correct, except that the northern outer bank appears to have a drop on either side. The bank on the southwest side within the field is now virtually gone: a faint terracing is all that survives on the line of the ditch. The preservation of the bank and ditch on the southwest side is still excellent on the 1947 Royal Air Force aerial photographs.

Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/AW, 1-2 (Aerial Photograph). SDV21115.

Mitchell, M. R., 1991, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV21108.

Earthworks partially levelled by farming operations.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2009, Hillfort known as Castle Hill Settlement (Schedule Document). SDV342153.

Monument includes a hillfort known as Castle Hill Settlement situated on the summit of a pronounced promontory 350 metres south of Woolleigh Bridge. The hillfort survives as an ovoid enclosure 220 metres long by 110 metres wide and is denoted by a rampart and ditch which has a counterscarp bank along the eastern circuit. The rampart stands 2 metres high although the southern circuit has been reduced by cultivation.. The entrance is at the northeastern side and survives as an offset in-turned gap flanked by out-turned outer banks. Recent research suggests the hillfort may be the site of a battle of Cynuit in AD878. This battle between the Vikings led by Ubhe Ragnarsson and the Anglo-Saxons under Ealdorman Odda resulted in a victory for Odda and prevented the Vikings from gaining complete control of England. The hillfort appears to conform to the location described by contemporary chroniclers and place-name evidence although the generally accepted site for this battle has been at Cannington Hill near Bridgewater. The modern fence posts within the hillfort are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath is included.

Ordnance Survey, 2009, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV341569.

Shown as 'Castle Hill Settlement' on modern mapping.

English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West, 112 (Report - non-specific). SDV355280.

Unknown condtion, trencd and principal vulnerability.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV21105Un-published: Ancient Monuments. 1922. Unknown.
SDV21106Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1973. SS51NW8. Card Index.
SDV21107Personal Comment: Griffith, F. M.. 1983.
SDV21108Personal Comment: Mitchell, M. R.. 1991. Oral Report to SMR.
SDV21109National Monuments Record Database: NMR, citing Hogg.
SDV21113Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. SS5216. Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
SDV21115Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/AW. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1-2.
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).
SDV336892Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. CPE/UK 1989. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3142-3.
SDV341465Article in Monograph: Wall, J. C.. 1906. Ancient Earthworks. Victoria History of the County of Devon. Hardback Volume. 602.
SDV341569Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2009. MasterMap. MasterMap. Digital.
SDV342153Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2009. Hillfort known as Castle Hill Settlement. The Schedule of Monuments. Letter.
SDV355280Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2011. Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West. english Heritage. Digital. 112.
SDV7953Monograph: Hogg, A. H. A.. 1979. British Hillforts: An Index. British Hill-forts: An Index. 62. Unknown. 192.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 30 2014 2:23PM