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HER Number:MDV71
Name:Windbury Head Camp, Hartland

Summary

Substantial earthworks define a sub-rectangular area adjacent to the cliff edge, interpreted as a prehistoric defended enclosure. The northern part may have been lost to erosion, but the southern ramparts have been surveyed and are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs between 1959 and 1999. The ramparts, external ditch and a possible outer bank and platform outside the entrance are visible on LiDAR-derived images which suggest that the rempart and ditch may have been breached or eroded in several places.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 286 265
Map Sheet:SS22NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishHartland
DistrictTorridge
Ecclesiastical ParishHARTLAND

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS22NE/1
  • Old SAM County Ref: 73
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS22NE4
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS22SE9

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Unknown, Windbury Head Camp, Hartland (Plan - measured). SDV348544.


Polwhele, R., 1793-1806, The History of Devonshire, 186 (Monograph). SDV21030.


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

'Camp Remains' of marked.


Worth, R. N., 1891, President's Address: Localities of Roman Remains in Devon, 79 (Article in Serial). SDV158810.


Ordnance Survey, 1906, 17NE (Cartographic). SDV335675.

'Windbury Head Camp' marked on 1906 6 inch Ordnance Survey map.


Wall, J. C., 1906, Ancient Earthworks, 577 (Article in Monograph). SDV341465.


Ministry of Works, 1923, Windbury Head Camp, Hartland (Schedule Document). SDV340537.

Visited (estimated) 29th July 1922. Upon a bold promontory known as Windbury Point, projecting north into the Bristol Channel. Remains consist of half an ellipse, the edge of the cliff now forming its longer axis. At west end is a fosse. Remaining defence is an artificial table land which rises to height of 2.7 metres (description taken from Victoria County History).


Royal Air Force, 1959, RAF/58/2984, 0049-0050 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349064.

The rampart earthworks are just visible. Other details: NMR RAF/58/2984 F22 0049-0050 30-JUN-1959.


Unknown, 1974, 74/159/071-2 (Aerial Photograph). SDV340542.


Ordnance Survey, 1977, OS/77023, 003-004 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349036.

The rampart is just discernable as an earthwork but is indistinct. Other details: NMR OS/77023 003-004 19-MAY-1977.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1978 - 1981, SS22NE4 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV340539.

1. Eroded promontory fort on Windbury Head. The remains consist of half an ellipse with a ditch 40 feet long by 10 feet wide at the west end.
2. The remaining defence is artificial table land rising to 9 feet at the highest point but almost levelled at east end.
3. Univallate hillfort of 3-15 acres.
4. Earthwork visible on air photographs.
5. Site visit 27th November 1978. This earthwork occupies a small hill called Windbury Mead. Internally it measures 120 metres east-west and 40 metres north-south but originally it was perhaps double this size. Now eroded by cliff-slip. It is univallate, though the rampart now appears as a scarp 7 metres wide, up to 2 metres high, with a poorly defined terrace 4 - 6 metres wide representing the former ditch. Terrace and earthwork are densely overgrown. There is an overgrowth inturning at SS28672660 in the south east. This is possibly an original entrance, but is oddly situated as the approach is steep. Not a promontory fort but probably an iron age hilltop defended settlement. Other details: Plan.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1978 - 1981, SS22SE9 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV340540.

1. Worth, quoting Canon Kingsley, refers to 'a Roman villa on the cliffs here' and Polwhele records 'a Roman Station at no great distance from the Abbey.'
2. It is possible that both refer to either the Iron Age fort at Hartland Point or that on Windbury Head.


Hogg, A. H. A., 1979, British Hillforts: An Index, 191 (Monograph). SDV7953.


National Trust, 1984, Clovelly and East Titchberry (Report - Survey). SDV337536.

It is suggested that cliff erosion caused part of the original site to be lost. The earthwork is currently overgrown with gorse and bracken. A major prehistoric site on the Hartland coast. The name, Windbury, is a combination of 'winn' meaning pasture and 'bury', a defended settlement.


Dendle, 1994, Untitled Source (Report - non-specific). SDV340541.

Measurements taken of bank which has been cleared and at various other points. Map and details.


Cross, A. E. + Dendle, K. W., 1996, Windbury Head Camp (Un-published). SDV358822.


Cross, A. E. + Dendle, K. W., 1996, Windbury Head Camp, Hartland (Worksheet). SDV341936.


Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, 1999, A Prehistoric Enclosure at Windbury Head, Hartland, Devonshire (Report - Survey). SDV340538.

Survey at large scale established detailed form and character of the defences and conclusively identified the entrance. The enclosure appears incomplete and further work is suggested to determine whether this is the case. The survey of the earthworks was part of ongoing management operations on the site which included the clearance of scrub and gorse, resulting in optimum conditions.
Earthworks are well defined and substantial. They partly delineate a thin sub-rectangular area adjacent to the cliff edge, about 90 metres by 35 metres. At the east end the precise extent of the enclosure cannot be determined, its line is continued by a spread natural scarp very different in character from rampart. An original entrance on the south side is marked by a very pronounced break, 4 metres wide, in defences. It seems unlikely that the ramparts ever formed a complete circuit. The interior of the enclosure comprises the nearly level summit of a west-east ridge. Conditions suggest no surface evidence for internal occupation in the form of hut stances or platforms.


Horner, B., 1999, DAP/ACF, 1-4 (Aerial Photograph). SDV341937.

The ramparts are visible as earthworks in a roughly semi-circular area of mostly lower vegetation.


Environment Agency, 2007, LiDAR data JPEG image (1 metre resolution), D0076567 (Cartographic). SDV349139.

A curvilinear bank and ditch are visible as earthworks, with a possible platform outside the entrance. Other details: LIDAR SS2826 Environment Agency D0076567 24-MAR-2007.


Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J., 2007, The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report, No. 234 (Report - Assessment). SDV339712.

Windbury Head Camp. Iron Age. Earthworks well defined and substantial. They partly delineate a thin sub-rectangular area adjacent to the cliff edge about 90m x 35m.


Hegarty, C. + Knight, S., 2011 - 2012, North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV349018.

The curvilinear rampart and external ditch of this prehistoric fortified enclosure are just visible as earthworks on vertical aerial photographs from 1959 to 1977, but very indistinctly. Oblique aerial photographs taken in 1999 show the ramparts more clearly in a roughly semi-circular area of mostly lower rough vegetation. However the ramparts and a possible outer bank and platform outside the entrance are clearly visible on images derived from Lidar data captured in 2007. The rampart and ditch are irregular and may have been breached in several places. The earthworks are particularly unclear near the cliff edge, and it is not possible to map the degree of clifftop erosion of the presumed northern part of the monument. On the east the route of the South West Coast Path into the interior of the monument is visible as a linear hollow, although this is likely to be an artefact of the Lidar imagery.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV158810Article in Serial: Worth, R. N.. 1891. President's Address: Localities of Roman Remains in Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 23. A5 Hardback. 79.
SDV21030Monograph: Polwhele, R.. 1793-1806. The History of Devonshire. The History of Devonshire. Unknown. 186.
SDV335675Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1906. 17NE. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV337536Report - Survey: National Trust. 1984. Clovelly and East Titchberry. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV339712Report - Assessment: Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J.. 2007. The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report. Exeter Archaeology Report. 06.22 (rev.1). A4 Stapled + Digital. No. 234.
SDV340537Schedule Document: Ministry of Works. 1923. Windbury Head Camp, Hartland. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV340538Report - Survey: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1999. A Prehistoric Enclosure at Windbury Head, Hartland, Devonshire. Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV340539Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1978 - 1981. SS22NE4. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV340540Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1978 - 1981. SS22SE9. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV340541Report - non-specific: Dendle. 1994. National Trust Archaeological Site Monitoring Report. Unknown.
SDV340542Aerial Photograph: Unknown. 1974. 74/159/071-2. Ordnance Survey Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
SDV341465Article in Monograph: Wall, J. C.. 1906. Ancient Earthworks. Victoria History of the County of Devon. Hardback Volume. 577.
SDV341936Worksheet: Cross, A. E. + Dendle, K. W.. 1996. Windbury Head Camp, Hartland. National Trust Archaeological Site Monitoring Surveillance Report. A4 Single Sheet.
SDV341937Aerial Photograph: Horner, B.. 1999. DAP/ACF. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1-4.
SDV348544Plan - measured: Unknown. Windbury Head Camp, Hartland. Plan + Digital.
SDV349018Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S.. 2011 - 2012. North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. ACD383/2/1. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV349036Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1977. OS/77023. Ordnance Survey. Photograph (Paper). 003-004.
SDV349064Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1959. RAF/58/2984. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 0049-0050.
SDV349139Cartographic: Environment Agency. 2007. LiDAR data JPEG image (1 metre resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. D0076567. [Mapped feature: #99573 ]
SDV358822Un-published: Cross, A. E. + Dendle, K. W.. 1996. Windbury Head Camp. The National Trust Archaeological Site Monitoring Surveillance Report. A4 Single Sheet + Digital.
SDV7953Monograph: Hogg, A. H. A.. 1979. British Hillforts: An Index. British Hill-forts: An Index. 62. Unknown. 191.

Associated Monuments

MDV7135Related to: Hillfort at Hartland Point (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6132 - North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty NMP Project

Date Last Edited:Jul 28 2015 12:42PM