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HER Number:MDV3193
Name:Enclosure in Parsonage Wood, Lydford


An oval enclosure defined to the north-east and north-west by a bank and an outer ditch, and to the south-east and south-west by steeply sloping valley sides. Believed to date from the late Pre-Roman Iron Age.


Grid Reference:SX 501 836
Map Sheet:SX58SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishLydford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIDESTOWE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX58SW/9
  • Old SAM County Ref: 987
  • Old SAM Ref: 30348

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ENCLOSURE (Late Iron Age - 100 BC to 42 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 13/04/1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1995, 3387-8 (Aerial Photograph). SDV224714.

Other details: HER 41/52 and 53.

Department of Environment, 1976, Enclosure in Parsonage Wood (Schedule Document). SDV342600.

Visited on 09/04/1976.Semi circular enclosure with bank three feet high externally, two feet high internally and circa 20 feet wide, and external ditch 10 feet wide, one foot six inches deep. The bank and ditch curve around in a semi-circle, the enclosure is circa 50 by 40 yards in diameter. Covered with young trees. Other details: Map.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1976 - 1978, SX58SW43 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV342604.

Enclosure. Description same as schedule document.

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

The enclosure in Parsonage Wood is located in a sharp bend of the Lyd Valley, the steep sides of which appear to have been satisfactory for defensive purposes, as the site is delineated by a bank and ditch only on the north and west sides. The earthworks are slight and in places the ditch is hardly visible. This and the wide gap of 15 metres on the north-east side, which presumably acted as an entrance, may indicate the defences were never finished. Appears to be a small defended homestead utilising the steep slopes for defensive purposes. Similar sites in Cornwall, known as 'rounds', which have been excavated demonstrate they were in use from the late Pre-Roman Iron Age onwards. Other details: Figure 1.

Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1985, SX58SW (Cartographic). SDV336882.

Not shown on overlay

Griffith, F. M., 1993, Enclosure in Parsonage Wood (Personal Comment). SDV342601.

The Royal Commission on Historical Monuments do not say which Royal Air Force verticals they examined. The site is clearly visible on Royal Air Force April 1949 aerial photographs.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1999, Enclosure in Parsonage Wood (Schedule Document). SDV342602.

An enclosure, interpreted as a later prehistoric hilltop enclosure, situated on a steep inland promontory overlooking the valley of the River Lyd. The monument survives as an oval enclosure which measures internally 38.3 metres long from south-west to north-east. It is defined to the north and west by a bank which measures up to 6.4 metres wide and 0.7 metres high, and an outer ditch which measures 5.2 metres wide and 0.4 metres deep. The whole enclosure slopes to the south, and to the south and west is defined by the natural steeply sloping valley sides. There is no trace of an entrance. Other details: Map.

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

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

Sources / Further Reading

SDV224714Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 13/04/1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1995. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3387-8.
SDV336882Cartographic: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1985. SX58SW. Air Photographs Unit. Map (Paper).
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.
SDV342600Schedule Document: Department of Environment. 1976. Enclosure in Parsonage Wood. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV342601Personal Comment: Griffith, F. M.. 1993. Enclosure in Parsonage Wood.
SDV342602Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1999. Enclosure in Parsonage Wood. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV342604Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1976 - 1978. SX58SW43. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV343130Personal Comment: Knight, S.. 2009. Site Visit for ARCS 15033-15035. Not Applicable.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4554 - Site Visit to Woodland in Lydford and Brentor

Date Last Edited:Mar 14 2014 10:09AM