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HER Number:MDV7224
Name:Burleigh Dolts, South Huish

Summary

Iron Age hillfort comprising three semi-concentric enclosures, partly preserved in later hedgebanks, surrounding a small ovoid central enclosure, now largely levelled. The ramparts and ditches are visible as subtle earthworks partly preserved in extant field boundaries on aerial photographs of 1946 and despite boundary removal remain identifiable as subtle earthworks on visualisations derived from lidar data captured between 1998 and 2017. Geophysical survey showed that the subsurface remains of the hillfort's ditch circuits appear intact and a number of internal features within the hillfort were also recorded.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 708 405
Map Sheet:SX74SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishMalborough
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSOUTH HUISH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX74SW/1
  • Old SAM County Ref: 12
  • Old SAM Ref: 33765
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX74SW16
  • Pastscape: 444528

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry (Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry). SDV263.

Burleigh Dolts Camp. A portion of the inner vallum only remains. When the surrounding fields are not tilled the outlines of a very large camp can be traced. Bailey's Dictionary, 1745, gives Burley, big, havey and doke, a ditch or furrow. The fields were probably enclosed when the camp was known as The Castle. Destroyed by farmer in 1949 when levelling a field.

Hawkins, A., 1819, Untitled Source, 109 (Monograph). SDV144702.

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

Unknown, 1840, South Huish (Cartographic). SDV345843.

Field No. 578.

Elliott, E. A. S., 1901, On Some Earthworks in the South Hams Probably Concerned in the Irishmen's Raid, 475-483 (Article in Serial). SDV321206.

Rampart and ditch. Only the faintest line of the outer rampart is visible.

Amery, P. F. S., 1901-1902, Burleigh Dolts, 68, 149 (Article in Serial). SDV345842.

Two short notes on field names in the vicinity and their use in locating prehistoric sites.

Wall, J. C., 1906, Ancient Earthworks, 609-610 (Article in Monograph). SDV341465.

Other details: Plan.

Office of Works, 1922, Burleigh Dolts (Schedule Document). SDV345796.

Close to the village of malborough on the slope of a hill declining towards Burleigh-Newhouse Farm. Quadrangular earthwork with rounded corners. Only south fosse and rampart in good condition now and the south-east corner has quite lately been altered in contour in order to repair a modern fence. Traces of the western fosse are as shown on the 6 inch Ordnance Survey map but the eastern side is invisible. A modern hedge may mark the line. According to A. Hawkin's 'Kingsbridge and Salcombe', 1819, 'only the faintest outline of an outer rampart can be traced but a very thick bank at the north-east end seems to suggest this was a portion and here the entrance evidently was in plain view of Stanborough'. In 1789 a silver coin of Charles I was found. Possibly it may have been re-occupied then.
[An additional handwritten note on the schedule document states that it was ploughed down and destroyed by bulldozer in April 1950.]

Royal Air Force, 1945, RAF/106G/UK/967, RAF/106G/UK/967 RS 4129-4130 01-NOV-1945 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351060.

Banks and ditches are visible as subtle earthworks and preserved within extant field boundaries.

Royal Air Force, 1946, CPE/UK 1890 (Aerial Photograph). SDV140289.

Fox, A., 1951, Eighteenth Report on the Archaeology and Early History of Devon, 35 (Article in Serial). SDV15558.

Silvester, R. J., 1980, Untitled Source (Un-published). SDV345844.

Robinson, R., 1984, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1984 (Un-published). SDV343082.

Site visit by Department of Environment Field Monument Warden on 17th January 1984.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1987 - 2001, SX74SW16 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV345797.

Site visit 7th November 1952. A hillfort. Bulldozed flat in 1949. No slopes now exist.
Air photographs suggest two outer ramparts to the south and south-west, the outermost one extending along the north-west side (citing Royal Air Force photograph of 1946).
Burleigh Dolts or Malborough Camp (listed as a simple defensive enclosure) is on the slope of a hill declining towards burleigh - newhouse farm. The area, irregular oval in shape, is surrounded by a strong bank. Around the lower level towards the north there is a rampart only, but from the east around to the south, where it reaches its highest point, the bank, 14 feet high and 20 feet wide at the base, is accompanied by a wide ditch. The entrance at the south-west was well guarded the western bank having been extended in a curve hugging the termination of the southern rampart and ditch. There are faint traces of an outer rampart on the side of the hill (citing Wall).
The interior of the hillfort is named 'Castle Park' on the Tithe Award and the upstanding features are depicted on the Tithe Map (citing Tithe Map).
Burleigh Dolts lies astride a north-south ridge and it sits just below the crest overlooking a saddle to the north and a valley to the west. It is vulnerable on all but the north-west side. Its south and east defences were deliberately destroyed in 1950 and the earthworks of the north-west side alone survive; here the bank stands to a height of 3.5 metres above the terrace which reveals the position of the outer ditch. On the north-east the defences have been eroded by agriculture over a long period, the bank scarp does not now line up with the surviving rampart although further south this scarp changes to a bank with a slight outer ditch. The bank on the southern side was pushed into the ditch by the bulldozer so the low bank evident on the ground may, in parts, mark the line of the original ditch. Although the hillfort has been classified as univallate some writers mention an outer bank. The aerial photographs reveal two additional banks which can be more or less traced on the ground; these provide a multi-enclosure effect. Both shown on the south and west sides, the inner curving in and almost abutting the main enclosure and the outer, now almost gone, is traceable by its ditch. Aerial photographs suggest that both continue in the field to the south-east but only unsurveyable undulations are now visible on the ground (citing Silvester).
Site visit 20th January 1987. The major part of the earthwork has been levelled and the rounded hilltop is regularly ploughed and cultivated. The north-west side, located on the steepest part of the hillslope, comprises a 3.5 metre high scarp with, along its top, a 1.4 metre wide, 0.7 metre high bank. Cropmarks suggest that it was once more substantial and that part has been removed. On the downhillside of the scarp an outer bank is evident; about 0.8 metres high externally and 0.5 metres high internally, it partially overlies a medial ditch. Not apparent trace of an outer ditch. The north-east line of the main rampart is st at quite an angle to its neighbour so it may not in its ploughed down state appear to join up with the extant section. An outer ditch is evident at the foot of this scarp towards the east side of the earthwork where both terminate in arounded end. Several other features are twin-banked with a medial ditch and perhaps a slight outer ditch; the entrance was either on the south-west or eastern side. The work has been so positioned on the rounded hillslop that the north and south ramparts are not intervisible and dead ground to the south is not really defensible. Its situation, similar to that of the average Cornish Round, suggests a territorial or agricultural role rather than a defensive one.

GetMapping, 1999, 122/99, Devon County Council GetMapping/122/99 60-61 15-NOV-1999 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351205.

Banks and ditches are visible as subtle earthworks.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2001, Iron Age Hillfort Known as Burleigh Dolts, 280m South East of Burleigh Farm (Schedule Document). SDV345839.

Large Iron Age multiple enclosure fort, located on a broad spur north of Malborough village. It commands a high and prominent location with wide local views.
The monument survives as a series of three semi-concentric enclosures, partly preserved in later hedgebanks, surrounding a small ovoid central enclousre, now largely levelled. The best preserved rampart of the fort forms the north-west side of this inner enclosure and is univallate. The hillside here drops steeply away but the north-east side slopes gently, while the south and west sides are virtually level. These sides of the fort were defended by the three outworks. The original main entrance appears to have been at the extreme eastern corner of the uter rampart, where the rampart ends turn in slightly. A faint hollow way is visible within this entrance. Another entrance, 110 metres to the north-west is of later date. A hollow way followed by a modern footpath climbs up through it from the north, but the rampart here has no obvious break. A third entrance at the north-west corner of the iste has traces of a hornwork below it, projecting from the outer rampart and curving round to the east. Its western part is followed by a later hedgebank.
The rampart on the north-west side of the inner enclosure is about 5 metres wide, rising 0.8 metres from the interior and falling steeply 3.5 metres to the outer ditch. This is 9 metres wide by up to 1 metre high. Elsewhere, the ramparts which survive in later hedgebanks are typically about 2 metres wide, rising from 0.8 metres to 1.5 metres from the interior and falling 1.5 metres to 2.5 metres to the exterior. Of the ploughed ramparts, the outer circuit on the west has a bank 9 metres wide by up to 0.5 metres high, with an outer ditch 7 metres wide and 0l4 metres deep. An upcast bank is 10 metres wide and 0.3 metres high. The intermediate ramparts on the south side are only visible as changes in the level of the field, on average about 0.4 metres high, although their ditches can be seen on aerial photographs.
Within the inner circuit is a brick bunker associated with the use of the site as a radar statin during World War II. The bunker, now used as a reservoir, is 9 metres wide by 13 metres long, embanked with earth, and is 3 metres high with a flat concrete roof. Traces of a service road pass along the inside of the former southern rampart to the east side of the site.

Wilkes, E., 2006, Report on Geophysical Survey at Burleigh Dolts, South Devon (Report - Geophysical Survey). SDV345845.

Geophysical survey of the area recorded several anomalies of archaeological potential within the monument of Burleigh Dolts. The subsurface remains of the hillfort's ditch circuits appear intact and anomalies which may represent internal features within the enclosure were detected together with features related to more recent, 20th century, use of the site. It was noted that there are some undulations in the field which correspond with significant anomalies in the geophysical survey. In addition several previously unknown archaeological features of possible prehistoric date were also recorded including two possible round houses or barrows, a segmented enclosure and structures within the circuit of the hillfort.

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

NERC, 2013, LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) Tellus: South Devon to Dartmoor, LIDAR SX7040 Tellus DTM 01-JUL-2013 to 31-AUG-2013 (Cartographic). SDV361514.

Banks and ditches are identifiable as subtle earthworks.

Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2019-2020, The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP) (Interpretation). SDV362982.

Banks and ditches are visible on aerial photographs of 1946, partly preserved in extant field boundaries, defining three sides of a roughly pentagonal enclosure of probable Iron Age date.
Two or three outer circuits of ramparts and ditches were visible as more subtle, near-levelled earthworks, defining a triple-ditched hillfort on the north-west facing slopes overlooking Burleigh Farm.
The inner ramparts were subsequently near-levelled, but the hillfort remains identifiable as very subtle earthworks on aerial photographs of 1999, but most clearly on visualisations derived from lidar data captured in 2013. Scarps identifiable on the lidar derived-images as very subtle earthworks on the north-west side of the hillfort might be evidence of previously unrecorded ramparts and ditches.
A break in the outermost rampart is identifiable where the banks are very slightly out turned on the north-eastern side of the hillfort, possibly indicating an original entrance.
No internal features contemporary with the hillfort were identifiable on the sources available to the survey. A communications emplacement was established within the inner circuit during the second world war and is recorded separately (MDV63610)

Sources / Further Reading

SDV140289Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. CPE/UK 1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
SDV144702Monograph: Hawkins, A.. 1819. Kingsbridge and Salcombe. Unknown. 109.
SDV15558Article in Serial: Fox, A.. 1951. Eighteenth Report on the Archaeology and Early History of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 83. A5 Hardback. 35.
SDV263Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry: Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry.
SDV321206Article in Serial: Elliott, E. A. S.. 1901. On Some Earthworks in the South Hams Probably Concerned in the Irishmen's Raid. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 33. A5 Hardback. 475-483.
SDV341465Article in Monograph: Wall, J. C.. 1906. Ancient Earthworks. Victoria History of the County of Devon. Hardback Volume. 609-610.
SDV343082Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1984. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1984. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
SDV345796Schedule Document: Office of Works. 1922. Burleigh Dolts. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV345797Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1987 - 2001. SX74SW16. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV345839Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2001. Iron Age Hillfort Known as Burleigh Dolts, 280m South East of Burleigh Farm. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV345842Article in Serial: Amery, P. F. S.. 1901-1902. Burleigh Dolts. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 1.1. Unknown. 68, 149.
SDV345843Cartographic: Unknown. 1840. South Huish. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Map (Paper).
SDV345844Un-published: Silvester, R. J.. 1980. Manuscript.
SDV345845Report - Geophysical Survey: Wilkes, E.. 2006. Report on Geophysical Survey at Burleigh Dolts, South Devon. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV351060Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1945. RAF/106G/UK/967. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/106G/UK/967 RS 4129-4130 01-NOV-1945.
SDV351205Aerial Photograph: GetMapping. 1999. 122/99. GetMapping Aerial Photograph. Devon County Council GetMapping/122/99 60-61 15-NOV-1999.
SDV359954Cartographic: South West Heritage Trust. 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Maps and Transcribed Apportionments. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Digital.
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.
SDV361514Cartographic: NERC. 2013. LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) Tellus: South Devon to Dartmoor. Digital. LIDAR SX7040 Tellus DTM 01-JUL-2013 to 31-AUG-2013. [Mapped feature: #99850 ]
SDV362982Interpretation: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2019-2020. The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP). Historic England Research Report. Digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4956 - Geophysical Survey at Burleigh Dolts, South Devon
  • EDV8098 - The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping (formerly NMP) Survey, Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (Ref: ACD2040)

Date Last Edited:Aug 17 2020 5:20PM