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HER Number:MDV5484
Name:Enclosure on Bera Tor, Buckland Monachorum

Summary

Oval shaped earthwork of probable later-prehistoric date, with rampart and outer ditch. The earthworks of this enclosure have been recorded as part of the Tamar Valley NMP project and are also identifiable on visualisations derived from lidar data captured in 2019.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 478 691
Map Sheet:SX46NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBuckland Monachorum
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBUCKLAND MONACHORUM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX46NE/521
  • Old SAM County Ref: 864
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX46NE2

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

South West Heritage Trust, 1838-1848, Digitised Tithe Maps and Transcribed Apportionments (Cartographic). SDV359954.

Oval field recorded as 'Castle Field' on the Buckland Monachorum Tithe Apportionment (plot 91).

Wall, J. C., 1906, Ancient Earthworks, 603 (Article in Monograph). SDV341465.

Ordnance Survey, 1907, 111NE (Cartographic). SDV215706.

'Camp' marked on 1907 Ordnance Survey 6 inch map.

Ordnance Survey, 1949, Untitled Source, 5311-2 (Aerial Photograph). SDV341170.

Ancient Monuments, 1971, Camp, North East of Berra Tor (Schedule Document). SDV341153.

Fortified enclosure possibly of Iron Age date. Well preserved ditch averaging 5 feet deep. Remains of the internal bank are slight as interior ploughed (although not recently). Bank preserved to a maximum of 2 feet high. Field bank on inner side of ditch.

Field, J, 1972, A Dictionary of English Field Names, 39 (Monograph). SDV350584.

The castle name alludes to the site of a prehistoric fortification.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1977 - 1980, SX46NE2 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV341152.

The site of a (class c simple defensive enclosure) lies 3 and a half miles south of Tavistock, on the east side of the River Tavy; east of Balstone Wood and north west of Higher Hele.
A pound, possibly of Iron Age date.
Two very faint circular cropmarks within the south-west quadrant may indicate hut circles.
Settlement: Well preserved ditch, average depth 5 inches, remains of internal bank slight, maximum height 2 inches. Interior ploughed. Field bank on inner side of ditch.

A sub oval earthwork situated below the crest of a broad spur. It is formed by a rampart and outer ditch, both despoiled by a modern hedge bank which utilizes the ditch in the eastern half and the rampart in the western half, to create a field which is currently under pasture.
No cropmarks or indications of any hut circles can be seen within the enclosure but the earthwork conforms to the category of Iron Age type defended settlements.
In fair condition; ditch on west where it is common land, is in good condition, but bank much ploughed down and spread throughout. Interior is under pasture. No finds were made. Site Visit 17/11/1983)

1. Camp shown on 1907 Ordnance Survey 6 inch map.
2. Site of small camp.
3. Probable prehistoric pound.
4. Site visit 20/07/1950. Condition fair. Modern ditch at bottom of earlier ditch on east side. In use as a pasture field.
5. Shown on 1954 Ordnance Survey 6 inch map.
6. Two very faint circular cropmarks within the south west quadrant may indicate hut circles.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1983, Untitled Source (Site Visit). SDV341169.

A sub-oval earthwork situated below the crest of a broad southwest spur at 135 metres, with overall diameters of 110 metres north to south, and 95 metres east to west, enclosing an area of 0.6 hectares. It is formed by a rampart and outer ditch, both despoiled by a modern hedgebank which utilises the ditch in the eastern half and the rampart in the western half, to create a field which is currently under pasture. The rampart has a miximum width of 17 metres and internally is no more than 0.3 metres high. Externally it ranges from 0.7 metres to, on the west 1.7 metres in height. The ditch varies from an almost imperceptible 5 metres wide slope on the south east to a depth of 0.8 metres around the west side. There is a distinct gap of 12 metres in the ramparts at SX47866915, which, facing level ground, may represent the original entrance. Although there are faint traces of a 5 metre slope indicating a continuous ditch beyond this entrance continuity may be the result of regular ploughing. No cropmarks or indications of any hut sites can be seen within the enclosure; but the earthwork conforms to the category of Iron Age types defended settlements. In fair condition; ditch on west, where it is on common land, is in good condition, but bank much ploughed down and spread throughout. Interior is under pasture. No finds were made.

Griffith, F. M., 1987, DAP/HV, 6-7 (Aerial Photograph). SDV321300.

Griffith, F. M., 1988, DAP/JV, 1 (Aerial Photograph). SDV242037.

Rowe, A. E., 1994, Buckland Monachorum Landscape Study, 4 (Un-published). SDV340420.

16th to 19th century documents refer to the enclosure as 'Castle Field' or 'Castle Park'.

Rowe, A. E., 1999, Buckland Monachorum: a West Devon Down and its History, 7 (Monograph). SDV340422.

Environment Agency, 2000-2019, LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) EA: Tamar Aerial Survey project area, LIDAR Environment Agency LAST RETURN 19-APR-2019 (Cartographic). SDV363954.

A bank an ditch are identifiable as earthworks.

Cornwall Archaeological Unit, 2001-2002, Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Transcriptions and Database Records, SX4769/1-2 (Interpretation). SDV346287.

Earthwork banks of a prehistoric enclosure are visible on aerial photographs. Map object partly based on this source.

NERC, 2013, LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) Tellus: Tamar Aerial Survey project area, LIDAR Tellus LAST RETURN 01-JUL-2013 to 31-AUG-2013 (Cartographic). SDV363955.

A bank is identifiable as a slight earthwork.

Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2016, Backlog Recording of the Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Survey (Personal Comment). SDV359374.

Only part of the photo reference is given in the transcription attributes, so the date of the photographs is not known.

Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

Map object partly based on this source.

Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2020-2021, Tamar/Lidar; A Single Source Approach to Landscape Survey and Socially Distanced Community Archaeology (AI&M project) (Interpretation). SDV363945.

A ditch up to circa 5m wide and an inner subtle bank up to 10m wide are identifiable on visualisations derived from lidar data captured in 2019 enclosing a rough oval circa 75m by 60m across, or circa 0.4ha in area. The bank is partly identifiable on lidar captured in 2013 but definition is decreased by dense vegetation.
A circa 15m break in the south-east facing bank or rampart might be evidence of an original entrance.

From the collection of N. V. Quinnell, Pre 2008, Untitled Source (Cartographic). SDV341171.

Plan and section at 1:1250

Sources / Further Reading

SDV215706Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1907. 111NE. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV242037Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1988. DAP/JV. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1.
SDV321300Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1987. DAP/HV. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 6-7.
SDV340420Un-published: Rowe, A. E.. 1994. Buckland Monachorum Landscape Study. Buckland Monachorum Landscape Study. A4 Bound + Digital. 4.
SDV340422Monograph: Rowe, A. E.. 1999. Buckland Monachorum: a West Devon Down and its History. Buckland Monachorum: a West Devon Down and its History. A5 Paperback. 7.
SDV341152Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1977 - 1980. SX46NE2. OSAD Card. Card Index + Digital.
SDV341153Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 1971. Camp, North East of Berra Tor. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV341169Site Visit: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1983. Unknown.
SDV341170Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1949. 540/226. Unknown. 5311-2.
SDV341171Cartographic: From the collection of N. V. Quinnell. Pre 2008. Map (Paper).
SDV341465Article in Monograph: Wall, J. C.. 1906. Ancient Earthworks. Victoria History of the County of Devon. Hardback Volume. 603.
SDV346287Interpretation: Cornwall Archaeological Unit. 2001-2002. Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Transcriptions and Database Records. National Mapping Programme. Map (Digital). SX4769/1-2.
SDV350584Monograph: Field, J. 1972. A Dictionary of English Field Names. A5 Hardback. 39.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV359374Personal Comment: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2016. Backlog Recording of the Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme Survey. Not Applicable.
SDV359954Cartographic: South West Heritage Trust. 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Maps and Transcribed Apportionments. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Digital.
SDV363945Interpretation: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2020-2021. Tamar/Lidar; A Single Source Approach to Landscape Survey and Socially Distanced Community Archaeology (AI&M project). Historic England Research Report. Digital.
SDV363954Cartographic: Environment Agency. 2000-2019. LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) EA: Tamar Aerial Survey project area. Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR Environment Agency LAST RETURN 19-APR-2019.
SDV363955Cartographic: NERC. 2013. LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) Tellus: Tamar Aerial Survey project area. Digital. LIDAR Tellus LAST RETURN 01-JUL-2013 to 31-AUG-2013.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6911 - Tamar Valley National Mapping Programme
  • EDV8345 - Tamar/Lidar; A Single Source Approach to Landscape Survey and Socially Distanced Community Archaeology (AI&M) (Ref: ACD2380)

Date Last Edited:Dec 11 2020 4:12PM