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HER Number:MDV74343
Name:Possible Causewayed Boundary Ditch North-East of Church Path Hill Plantation, Matford


An interrupted linear cropmark, visible on aerial photographs taken between 1959 and 1989, may have formed over a causewayed prehistoric boundary ditch, but could have a geological or modern origin.


Grid Reference:SX 932 887
Map Sheet:SX98NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishExminster
Ecclesiastical ParishEXMINSTER

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old SAM County Ref: 953

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • LINEAR FEATURE (Unknown date)
  • BOUNDARY DITCH? (Early Neolithic to Roman - 4000 BC to 409 AD)

Full description

Balkwill, Untitled Source (Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry). SDV340440.

200 metres north of Church Path Hill is a double-ditched enclosure, rectangular in shape, and a linear causewayed mark, which is very broad. Adjacent rectilinear ditches suggest a field system. It lies adjacent to Matford Home Farm

Cambridge University, 1959, CUC/ZS, CUCAP ZS78 06-JUL-1959 (Aerial Photograph). SDV358891.

An interrupted dark roughly linear cropmark is visible.

Ancient Monuments, 1974, Earthwork Enclosure 220 yards (200 metres) North East of Church Path Hill Plantation (Schedule Document). SDV340432.

Site crossed by a interrupted ditch.

Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/AR, 9A,10 (Aerial Photograph). SDV340445.

Robinson, R., 1987 - 2000, Devon Post-Reconnaissance Fieldwork Project (Un-published). SDV342165.

Diagonal linear feature may be a gas main (information from owner). Other details: Photo J13.

Griffith, F. M., 1989, DAP/MM, DCC DAP/MM 15 26-JUN-1989 (Aerial Photograph). SDV340447.

The linear feature is visible as a dark cropmark with poorly defined edges.

Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2014-2015, East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV356883.

An interrupted roughly linear cropmark, 1.5 to 3.5 metres wide and 300 metres in length, is visible on aerial photographs taken between 1959 and 1989. There are 7 visible segments separated by gaps of up to 10 metres, and a possible parallel but narrow cropmark runs for circa 40 metres on the north-west side. At its north-east end it appears to abut or join a narrower curvilinear cropmark. This feature runs through a double ditched rectilinear enclosure (MDV10018) and probable field system (MDV113183), and is presumably therefore not contemporary with these. It is possible that the cropmarks relate to a prehistoric causewayed boundary ditch, but its date and character are difficult to define from the available aerial photographs. Further archaeological survey is required to establish whether the cropmark formed over an archaeological feature, a modern energy supply as suggested by the landowner (Robinson 1987-2000), or perhaps a geological anomaly, given the extensive network of irregular cropmarks covering this site and which are likely to have a geological origin.

Edwards, M. + Trick, S., 2020, Land at Ridgetop Park, South West of Exeter, Parcel D: Magnetometer Survey (Report - Survey). SDV363561.

The survey was commissioned by AC Archaeology Ltd on behalf of clients in advance of a
planning application. The proposed area for geophysical survey comprises two parcels (A and D) of land south west of Exeter. Ridgetop Park is a Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANGS) in Teignbridge Local Plan allocation SW3. Sixteen anomalies were detected of which 12 are considered to represent possible buried archaeology. The archaeology includes former field boundaries, ditches, a pit or hearth, and a cluster of cut features.

Anomaly Group 2 is a sinuous positive anomaly c.92m long. This is probably the same as Devon HER entry MDV74343: “Possible Causewayed Boundary Ditch North-East of Church Path Flill Plantation, Matford”. This is a cropmark visible of aerial photographs between 1959 and 1989, postulated as a causewayed prehistoric boundary ditch but also with possibly geological or modern origin.

Anomaly Group 3 is a probable continuation of Group 2, although in a more subtle signal.

Anomaly Group 4 is a short section of strong positive linear response, possibly a ditch. It is possibly the continuation of Group 3. It possibly runs parallel to Group 5.

Anomaly Group 5 is a linear positive anomaly, possibly a ditch. It possibly runs parallel to Group 4.

Anomaly Group 6 is a positive linear anomaly, possibly a ditch, and possibly continuing in the form of Group 5.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV340432Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 1974. Earthwork Enclosure 220 yards (200 metres) North East of Church Path Hill Plantation. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV340440Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry: Balkwill. Unknown.
SDV340445Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/AR. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 9A,10.
SDV340447Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1989. DAP/MM. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DCC DAP/MM 15 26-JUN-1989.
SDV342165Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1987 - 2000. Devon Post-Reconnaissance Fieldwork Project. Devon Post-Reconnaissance Fieldwork Project. A4 Unbound.
SDV356883Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV358891Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1959. CUC/ZS. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). CUCAP ZS78 06-JUL-1959. [Mapped feature: #101608 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV10018Related to: Double-Ditched Enclosure, North-East of Church Hill Path Plantation, Matford (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6530 - The East and Mid-Devon Rivers Catchment NMP project (Ref: ACD613)
  • EDV8247 - Magnetometer Survey: Land at Ridgetop Park, South West of Exeter, Parcel D (Ref: 2001RID-R-1)

Date Last Edited:Feb 27 2020 3:12PM