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HER Number:MDV4771
Name:Redoubt on Sourton Down

Summary

17th century Civil War redoubt on Sourton Down with multiple banks and ditches

Location

Grid Reference:SX 545 919
Map Sheet:SX59SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishSourton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSOURTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 440909
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX59SW/2
  • Old SAM County Ref: 944
  • Old SAM Ref: 34287
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX59SW5

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • REDOUBT (XVI to XVII - 1600 AD to 1700 AD (Between))

Full description

National Monuments Record, SX5491, 2-4,6-8.10,12-15,19,25 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346234.

Young, E. H., 1928, Okehampton during the Civil War, 1642-46, 283-4 (Article in Serial). SDV346227.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1951 - 1981, SX59SW5 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV346218.

When first discovered this feature was erroneously described as the remains of a large earthen barrow. It comprises a sub-square platform circa 20 metres across by 0.7 metres high with rounded corners and a low bank around the top. It has two contiguous enclosing ditches, the outer being 0.5 metres deep but the inner is only vaguely traceable. The south-west side has been mutilated although a slight ramp indicates an original entrance.

Department of Environment, 1974, Earthwork on Sourton Down (Schedule Document). SDV346221.

Earthwork on Sourton Down is roughly square with a central platform about 0.8 metres high. The platform is surrounded by a bank and ditch 23.0 metres square with apparently rounded corners. A second bank and ditch outside this is possibly visible. The earthwork is probably not a barrow and its true origin is unknown. Its situation commands fine views both to the east and west. The possibility of its being a Roman signal station exists and gives it a high potential importance. Rough pasture. Other details: Monument 944.

Balkwill, C. J. + Silvester, R. J., 1976, Earthworks on Sourton Down, near Okehampton, 87-8 (Article in Serial). SDV346220.

Square platform on Sourton Down defined by two ditches. Aerial photographs suggests these ditches are continuous, joining each other on either side of the causeway leading to the platform. The upcast from the ditches formed a pronounced bank on edge of the platform. There is a possible second bank outside the two ditches. Earthwork lies circa 100 metres south-east of the highest point on Sourton Down, which is crossed by an abandoned road.

Balkwill, C. J., 1976, Okehampton Bypass No 1 (North) (Report - Survey). SDV346198.

Clearest parallel is with the Roman signal towers of northern England and Scotland. Contour survey completed.

Balkwill, C. J., 1977, Archaeology and Development in Rural Devon, 11 (Monograph). SDV217976.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1978, Archaeological Sites within Okehampton Park and its Vicinity, No A.8 (Un-published). SDV233126.

Other details: Number A.8.

Grinsell, L. V., 1978, Dartmoor Barrows, 180 (Article in Serial). SDV273224.

King, A. C., 1979, A30 Okehampton Bypass: Final Report (Report - Survey). SDV343861.

Other details: Number 36.

Maxfield, V. A., 1980, The Roman Military Occupation of South-West England: Further Light and Fresh Problems, 297 (Article in Monograph). SDV224826.

National Monuments Record, 1982, SX5492, 1 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346232.

Weston, S., 1983, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1983 (Un-published). SDV343247.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/EB, 3a,4,7,10 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346229.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/EC, 3,5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV217997.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/EF, 5-6,8-10 (Aerial Photograph). SDV346230.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/EK, 5a-6 (Aerial Photograph). SDV215280.

Double ditched nature of the site is clearly visible on 1985 aerial photographs. Entrance can be clearly seen on north-east as an undug causeway. The ditches seem to turn and run along the edge of this causeway and join each other. Early aerial photograph seems to show central squarish depression.

Berridge, P. J., 1985, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV346228.

English Heritage, 1986, Okehampton Bypass: Field Survey, 5,22 (Report - Survey). SDV346235.

Possible signal station or Civil War redoubt.

Kerr, B., 1986, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV263882.

Marked as 'Tumulus' on Ordnance Survey maps. Vertical aerial photograph shows a squarish earthwork possibly with ditch. Trial excavation in 1986 produced no dating evidence. Ditch terminals to the north of causewayed entrance were investigated. Outer ditch was much less substantial than the deep V-shaped inner one, and tip lines in fill of latter showed that there had been a substantial bank around the centre. Medieval pot sherd recovered from top of inner ditch fill and a couple of, as yet unidentified sherds further down.

Griffith, F., 1988, Devon's Past. An Aerial View, 100 (Monograph). SDV64198.

Identification as a Civil War redoubt is currently favoured.

Department of Environment, 1988, Earthwork on Sourton Down (Correspondence). SDV346222.

The location of the scheduled earthwork on Sourton Down was corrected. Other details: Monument 944.

Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, 1988, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV346231.

Weddell, P. J. + Pye, A. R., 1990, A30 Okehampton Bypass to Launceston Bypass Archaeological Assessment Part 1: Summary Report and Recommendations, 2 (Report - Assessment). SDV264659.

Reed, S. J., 1994, Archaeological Evaluation at East Linnacombe Farm, Sourton Down, 1 (Report - Evaluation). SDV346233.

Horner, B., 1994, DAP/WO, 34 (Aerial Photograph). SDV321171.

Miller, A., 1996, Aerial photographic assessment (Interpretation). SDV265154.

Weddell, P. J. + Reed, S. J., 1997, Excavations at Sourton Down 1986-1991: Roman Road, Deserted Medieval Hamlet and other Landscape Features, 58,142 (Article in Serial). SDV346224.

The feature is a double ditched sub-rectangular enclosure with no stratigraphic relationship between the ditches. Four sherds of North Devon pottery dated 1200-1470 AD were recovered from the upper soil level that sealed earlier fills of both ditches. Interpretation is still inconclusive but it probably originated between the Roman period and the 13the century. Other details: Figure 7.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2002, Civil War Redoubt 750 metres south-east of East Linnacombe (Schedule Document). SDV346223.

This monument includes a Civil War redoubt situated in an elevated position with wide views overlooking Dartmoor and the valley of the River Thrushel. The monument survives as a double ditched, square-shaped enclosure with a square central platform measuring 13.9 metres across and 0.7 metres high, topped by a slight bank up to 3.6 metres wide and 0.2 metres high. Surrounding the square platform is a 2 metres wide and 0.2 metre deep ditch, beyond which is a second bank 1.8 metres wide and 0.2 metres high, which is visible on all sides except the west, and a second ditch up to 2.4 metres wide and 0.3 metres deep, visible to the north, south and east but preserved as a buried feature to the west. A slight bank to the south-west may indicate the original entrance. The earthwork, which resembles that of the 'Scots Redoubt', Newark, dated 1646, was possibly erected in 1642 to guard the Cornish side of Okehampton. Partial excavation in 1986 showed that the outer ditch was much less substantial than the `V'-shaped inner one, and tip lines in the inner ditch indicated that there had once been a substantial bank around the central platform. Medieval pottery was also discovered. A stock proof fence crosses the monument on its western side. This is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath this feature is included. English Civil War fieldworks are earthworks which were raised during military operations between 1642 and 1645 to provide temporary protection for infantry or to act as gun emplacements. This redoubt survives well and is known from partial excavation to contain important archaeological and environmental information relating to its construction and use. Other details: Monument 34287.

National Monuments Record, 2011, 440909 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV346236.

A Civil War redoubt situated 750 metres south east of East Linnacombe in an elevated position. The earthwork was possibly erected in 1642 to guard the Cornish side of Okehampton and survives as a double ditched, square-shaped enclosure with a square central platform measuring 13.9 metres across by 0.7 metres high, topped by a slight bank up to 3.6 metres wide and 0.2 metres high. Surrounding the platform is a 2 metre wide and 0.2 metre deep ditch, beyond which is a second bank 1.8 metres wide and 0.2 metres high and a second ditch up to 2.4 metres wide and 0.3 metres deep.

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

'Earthworks' shown as a square feature with multiple banks on modern mapping.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV215280Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/EK. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 5a-6.
SDV217976Monograph: Balkwill, C. J.. 1977. Archaeology and Development in Rural Devon. Archaeology and Development in Rural Devon. DCRA Publication No. 2. Unknown. 11.
SDV217997Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/EC. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3,5.
SDV224826Article in Monograph: Maxfield, V. A.. 1980. The Roman Military Occupation of South-West England: Further Light and Fresh Problems. Roman Frontier Studies 1979: Papers Presented to the 12th International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies. Photocopy + Digital. 297.
SDV233126Un-published: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1978. Archaeological Sites within Okehampton Park and its Vicinity. Archaeological Sites within Okehampton Park and its Vicinity. No A.8.
SDV263882Personal Comment: Kerr, B.. 1986.
SDV264659Report - Assessment: Weddell, P. J. + Pye, A. R.. 1990. A30 Okehampton Bypass to Launceston Bypass Archaeological Assessment Part 1: Summary Report and Recommendations. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 90.33. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2.
SDV265154Interpretation: Miller, A.. 1996. Aerial photographic assessment. Aerial Photograph Primary Recoding Project. Map (Paper).
SDV273224Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1978. Dartmoor Barrows. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 36. A5 Paperback. 180.
SDV321171Aerial Photograph: Horner, B.. 1994. DAP/WO. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 34.
SDV343247Un-published: Weston, S.. 1983. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1983. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Unknown.
SDV343861Report - Survey: King, A. C.. 1979. A30 Okehampton Bypass: Final Report. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. Mixed Archive Material.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV346198Report - Survey: Balkwill, C. J.. 1976. Okehampton Bypass No 1 (North). Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Rural Survey. Worksheet.
SDV346218Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1951 - 1981. SX59SW5. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV346220Article in Serial: Balkwill, C. J. + Silvester, R. J.. 1976. Earthworks on Sourton Down, near Okehampton. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 34. Paperback Volume. 87-8.
SDV346221Schedule Document: Department of Environment. 1974. Earthwork on Sourton Down. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV346222Correspondence: Department of Environment. 1988. Earthwork on Sourton Down. Schedule Amendment. A4 Stapled.
SDV346223Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2002. Civil War Redoubt 750 metres south-east of East Linnacombe. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV346224Article in Serial: Weddell, P. J. + Reed, S. J.. 1997. Excavations at Sourton Down 1986-1991: Roman Road, Deserted Medieval Hamlet and other Landscape Features. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 55. Paperback Volume. 58,142.
SDV346227Article in Serial: Young, E. H.. 1928. Okehampton during the Civil War, 1642-46. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 60. A5 Hardback. 283-4.
SDV346228Worksheet: Berridge, P. J.. 1985. Worksheet.
SDV346229Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/EB. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3a,4,7,10.
SDV346230Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/EF. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 5-6,8-10.
SDV346231Correspondence: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. 1988. Letter.
SDV346232Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. 1982. SX5492. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1.
SDV346233Report - Evaluation: Reed, S. J.. 1994. Archaeological Evaluation at East Linnacombe Farm, Sourton Down. Exeter Archaeology Report. 94.31. A4 stapled + Digital. 1.
SDV346234Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. SX5491. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 2-4,6-8.10,12-15,19,25.
SDV346235Report - Survey: English Heritage. 1986. Okehampton Bypass: Field Survey. Central Excavation Unit Report. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. 5,22.
SDV346236National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2011. 440909. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
SDV64198Monograph: Griffith, F.. 1988. Devon's Past. An Aerial View. Devon's Past. An Aerial View. Paperback Volume. 100.

Associated Monuments

MDV20446Related to: BATTLEFIELD in the Parish of Sourton (Monument)
MDV4772Related to: FIELD SYSTEM in the Parish of Sourton (Monument)
MDV20441Related to: Roman Road, Sourton (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV1757 - POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Apr 7 2020 1:45PM