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HER Number:MDV3900
Name:Enclosure north-east of Castle Farm


Prehistoric hilltop enclosure to the north-east of Castle Farm with three stone quarries within it


Grid Reference:SX 403 854
Map Sheet:SX48NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishStowford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSTOWFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 438118
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX48NW/6
  • Old SAM Ref: 30330
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX48NW4

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ENCLOSURE (Late Bronze Age to Middle Iron Age - 1000 BC to 300 BC (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 13/04/1947, CPE/UK/1995, 1225-6 (Aerial Photograph). SDV217286.

Virtue, O. H., 1868, Untitled Source, 564 (Article in Serial). SDV345566.

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

'Castle (Remains of)' shown on 19th century map as an oval earthwork to the north-east of Castle Farm.

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

'Castle' shown on early 20th century map.

Wall, J. C., 1906, Ancient Earthworks, 611 (Article in Monograph). SDV341465.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950 - 1973, SX48NW4 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV346134.

Possible Iron Age defended settlement.
Castle Farm, to the east of Lifton are the remains of a camp, on a summit of a swell is all that is left of an ancient elliptical stronghold, divided into three portions by field fences, and as it is ploughed over year by year it is a marvel that anything is now visible. On this side (the eastern) 12 inches below the level of the camp, is a curved bank looking down a slightly hollowed channel towards the stream; and to the north of it, on the brink of the bank, is a circular excavation apparently a sheltered position for obtaining water from below. V.C.H. Devon I Pg. 611.

Castle, a pound, probably prehistoric. Early Iron Age. Hannaford Worth, R. Oral. 1950.

On the North side of the road to Exeter are traces of a circular encampment supposed to be Saxon. Virtue's National Gazetteer 1868, pg. 564.

A flat topped flat form mound measuring 72m northwest south east and 108m northeast southwest. The mound has an average height of 1m on the northeast face gradually lessening to 0.5m on the northwest and southeast faces due to modern farming. On the southwest face the average height raises to 1m. There is no sign of a ditch or any form of other earthworks, not are there any traces of constructions on the top of the mound. The tenant farmer informs me that in dry weather walling marks may be seen I cannot determine the age, use or purpose of this earthwork. Site visit 23/02/1951.

A sub-rectangular earthwork on a commanding hilltop above a confluence of rivers. Regularly ploughed but still well defined platform with traces of a ditch, and the probable entrance on the north-east side. Two internal depressions and the mutilated south-west side are probably the result of surface quarrying. Possibly an Iron Age defended settlement. Site visit 03/01/1973.

Cambridge University, 1952, CUC/HV, 38-9 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346141.

Other details: HV38 in HER.

Silvester, R. J. + Higham, R. A., 1980, Domestic Enclosures of Probable Medieval Date, 63-5 (Article in Serial). SDV55518.

Sub-oval, usually interpreted as a hillfort but unlikely. Other details: Map.

Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/CH, 6-7 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346142.

Goodier, A., 1985, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV346137.

Letters between F M Griffith and D Hill. In the early 1980s, a trench was excavated in this earthwork. No information on the results has been received.

Exeter Archaeology, 1996, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV346138.

In 1996 Exeter Archaeology made further inquiry of David Hill. He said the trench had sectioned a large ditch but produced no finds. He hoped to return to the site.

Gerrard, S., 1997, 143352 (Un-published). SDV346139.

Oval enclosure marked by a rampart and outer ditch. A field boundary bisects the site from north to south and a further field boundary curves around the site to north overlying the outer ditch. Three stone quarries of varying size have been cut into the surface of the enclosures; two on the eastern half and one in the north-west edge.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1998, Hilltop Enclosure 100 metres north-east of Castle Farm (Schedule Document). SDV346135.

This monument includes a hilltop enclosure located on a high ridge above the confluence of the Rivers Wolf, Thrushel and Lyd. It commands a high and prominent location with wide local views. The monument survives as an oval enclosure marked by a rampart. It is aligned from north-east to south-west and its interior measures 86.6 metres long by 48.2 metres wide. The rampart measures from 5.9 metres up to 12 metres wide and is a maximum of 1.9 metres high. The outer ditch surrounding the rampart is evident on the eastern side where it is 6.8 metres wide and up to 0.3 metres deep; elsewhere it survives as a buried feature. A field boundary bisects the site from north to south and there is a height difference in the land surface of up to 1.8 metres. A further field boundary curves around the site to the north and overlies the outer ditch, fossilising the shape of the enclosure and incorporating the rampart into the field boundary on the north eastern quadrant. A series of three stone quarries of varying size have also cut into the surface of the enclosure; two lie on the eastern half and the third on the north western edge. The field boundary which crosses the monument is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included. Univallate hillforts are defined as enclosures of various shapes and dating to between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age. Despite limited damage as a result of small scale quarrying, the hilltop enclosure survives well and contains archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument, its location and the landscape in which it functioned. It has been suggested that this earthwork represents the site of the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Hlidan. Other details: Monument 30330.

Hill, D., 1998, Lifton, Devon: Pre-Preliminary Report (Un-published). SDV346140.

Further work by in 1997 when two small trenches produced limited results and no dates. Resistivity survey showed the ditch faintly in the western half; eastern half not yet surveyed. Detailed contour survey also executed. A further campaign planned for 1998.

National Monuments Record, 2011, 438118 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV346136.

A hilltop enclosure survives as an oval enclosure marked by a rampart.

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

'Earthwork' shown on modern mapping to the north-east of Castle Farm.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV217286Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 13/04/1947. CPE/UK/1995. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1225-6.
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).
SDV341465Article in Monograph: Wall, J. C.. 1906. Ancient Earthworks. Victoria History of the County of Devon. Hardback Volume. 611.
SDV345566Article in Serial: Virtue, O. H.. 1868. National Gazetteer. 1. Unknown. 564.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #90090 ]
SDV346134Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950 - 1973. SX48NW4. OSAD Card. Card Index + Digital.
SDV346135Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1998. Hilltop Enclosure 100 metres north-east of Castle Farm. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV346136National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2011. 438118. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
SDV346137Correspondence: Goodier, A.. 1985. Letter.
SDV346138Correspondence: Exeter Archaeology. 1996. Letter.
SDV346139Un-published: Gerrard, S.. 1997. 143352. Monument Protection Programme. Unknown.
SDV346140Un-published: Hill, D.. 1998. Lifton, Devon: Pre-Preliminary Report. Manuscript.
SDV346141Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1952. CUC/HV. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 38-9.
SDV346142Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/CH. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 6-7.
SDV55518Article in Serial: Silvester, R. J. + Higham, R. A.. 1980. Domestic Enclosures of Probable Medieval Date. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 38. Paperback Volume. 63-5.

Associated Monuments

MDV58292Parent of: Quarries within Enclosure north-east of Castle Farm (Monument)
MDV108533Related to: Hillfort in Lifton Wood (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Mar 27 2019 9:27AM