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HER Number:MDV418
Name:Hembury Castle Hillfort, Buckland Brewer

Summary

Hembury Castle an Iron Age contour hillfort in Buckland Brewer parish

Location

Grid Reference:SS 427 178
Map Sheet:SS41NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBuckland Brewer
DistrictTorridge
Ecclesiastical ParishBUCKLAND BREWER

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 32912
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS41NW/2
  • Old SAM County Ref: 376
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS41NW3

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Ministry of Works, Hembury Castle, 376 (Schedule Document). SDV340649.

Hembury Castle near Torrington is a typical small Iron Age contour hillfort. It occupies the crest of a knob betweeen the River Duntz and Lydeland Water. The rampart has been mostly ploughed away but the ditch survives throughout. Overall (where the bank is preserved) 60 foot (18.23 metres) including a counter scarp bank. The entrance was probably from the south, where modern farm buildings have been erected. The plan in the Victoria History of the County of Devon is inaccurate as it does not mark the farm house and out-buildings.

Woollcombe, H., 1839-1850, Woollcombe Manuscript (Un-published). SDV16214.

Sub-rectangular enclosure, ditch and double bank well preserved. House in south ditch-entrance in south side. Circa 450 foot by 260 foot. Plan in manuscript. Other details: Plan.

Parry, J. A., 1867, Untitled Source, 103 (Article in Serial). SDV18753.

In the ditches there has been found quantities of charred wood. A mound on the western end revealed a quantity of skulls and human bones, the remains of those killed during the Royalist retreat after the surrender of Torrington.

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

'Hembury Castle (Camp) (Remains of)' shown on 19th century map with a few buildings on the south side of the earthwork.

Wall, J. C., 1906, Ancient Earthworks, 581 (Article in Monograph). SDV341465.

Other details: Plan.

Doe, G. M., 1925, Encampments in Buckland Brewer and Frithelstock Parishes, 68-69 (Article in Serial). SDV18765.

Civil War engagement as an explanation for find of cannon balls ruled out since no side, after Royalist defeat at Torrington in February 1646, had any artillery with it.

Liddell, D. M., 1935, Report on the Excavations at Hembury Fort, 135 (Article in Serial). SDV338838.

First record of Early Neolithic wares containing igneous inclusions found during excavations at Hembury Fort in Devon.

Doe, G. M., 1939, Address of the President, 49 (Article in Serial). SDV14615.

Henbury Fortconsits of an enclosure of a ditch with a rampart on the outside, near which are the remains of another earthwork on the north-west The inner enclosure contains about five acres (2.02 hectares). Iron cannon balls dug out here may have been used in the attack on Lord Digby in 1643.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1973 - 1978, SS41NW3 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV18756.

Hembury Castle is a small 5 acre plateau. The south and east sides of the hill have very steep natural slopes and on the north side is a 10 foot deep bank and ditch. The ditches contained quantites of charred wood and a mound, formerly south-west of the interior contained numerous skeletons, supposedly from the Civil War.
The sub-oval univallate enclosure 210 metres by 125 metres, with no obvious entrance. Rampart almost entirely levelled, the most prominent feature is now the ditch 1.2 metres deep with counterscarp bank 0.8 metres high. Gradually being destroyed by ploughing, though currently under pasture. Southern part under farm buildings.
The earthwork is typical of a larger Iron Age defended settlement. Other details: Plan.

National Monuments Record, 1979, SS4217, SF 1507/406 (Aerial Photograph). SDV18767.

Site clearly shown on the aerial photograph though principally as field boundaries. No clue as to the 'earthwork to the northwest' mentioned by Doe.

Weston, S., 1982, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV339973.

Department of the Environment Field Monument Warden visit.

Griffith, F. M., 1988, DAP/JL, 10,10a (Aerial Photograph). SDV18770.

Department of Environment, 1992, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV18755.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for the removal of soil.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2000, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV18759.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted, subject to conditions, for works concerning the demolition of the existing building (outhouse) and the construction of a replacement structure to modern standards.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2000, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV18760.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for works concerning the construction of an extension to an agricultural building.

Cobley, G. P., 2002, Musbury Castle (Un-published). SDV338764.

Other details: In Musbury Parish File.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2008, Proposed Works at Hembury Castle, Buckland Brewer, Devon (Correspondence). SDV340366.

Consent issued for removal of dumped topsoil from the western edge of the monument and the restoration/re-planting of former hedge line in the south west area of the monument.

National Monuments Record, 2010, 32912 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV344966.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

'Hembury Castle' shown on modern mapping

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

Houghton, P., 2015, An Archaeological and Historical Report on The Upper Tamar Valley including Excavations at Lamerhooe Volume One, 67 (Report - Assessment). SDV363240.

Ringwork site with later Medieval motte added; site contrasts with that in Burley Wood, Bridestowe.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV14615Article in Serial: Doe, G. M.. 1939. Address of the President. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 71. A5 Hardback. 49.
SDV16214Un-published: Woollcombe, H.. 1839-1850. Woollcombe Manuscript. Manuscript.
SDV18753Article in Serial: Parry, J. A.. 1867. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 2. A5 Hardback. 103.
SDV18755Correspondence: Department of Environment. 1992. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV18756Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1973 - 1978. SS41NW3. Card Index.
SDV18759Correspondence: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2000. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV18760Correspondence: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2000. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV18765Article in Serial: Doe, G. M.. 1925. Encampments in Buckland Brewer and Frithelstock Parishes. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 57. A5 Hardback. 68-69.
SDV18767Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1979. SS4217. National Monuments Record Photograph. Photograph (Paper). SF 1507/406.
SDV18770Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1988. DAP/JL. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 10,10a.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV338764Un-published: Cobley, G. P.. 2002. Musbury Castle. Sidmouth College Project Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV338838Article in Serial: Liddell, D. M.. 1935. Report on the Excavations at Hembury Fort. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Exploration Society. II: Part 3. A5 Paperback. 135.
SDV339973Correspondence: Weston, S.. 1982. Letter. Letter.
SDV340366Correspondence: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2008. Proposed Works at Hembury Castle, Buckland Brewer, Devon. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV340649Schedule Document: Ministry of Works. Hembury Castle. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap. 376.
SDV341465Article in Monograph: Wall, J. C.. 1906. Ancient Earthworks. Victoria History of the County of Devon. Hardback Volume. 581.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #91214 ]
SDV344966National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. 32912. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
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.

Associated Monuments

MDV7602Related to: Motte and Bailey within Loddiswell Rings (Monument)
MDV1613Related to: Motte and Baileys in Burley Wood, Bridestowe (Monument)
MDV29728Related to: Raddon Hill Causewayed Enclosure (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV1240 - CANNON BALL (XVI to XVII - 1600 AD to 1700 AD)

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Oct 10 2019 10:34AM