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HER Number:MDV75586
Name:Medieval Settlement in South Longridge Woods

Summary

Medieval settlement including the remains of a long house within the Iron Age hillfort in South Longridge Woods

Location

Grid Reference:SX 497 838
Map Sheet:SX48SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishLydford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIDESTOWE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 438143
  • Old SAM County Ref: 986
  • Old SAM Ref: 30349
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX48SE9

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • SETTLEMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Silvester, R. J. + Balkwill, C.J., Enclosure at South Longridge, Bridestowe (Plan - measured). SDV342596.


Royal Air Force, 13/04/1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1995, 3388 (Aerial Photograph). SDV224714.


Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/2149 (Aerial Photograph). SDV282746.


Royal Air Force, 1949, RAF/540/176/5004 (Aerial Photograph). SDV342598.


Unknown, 1976, Untitled Source (Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry). SDV342595.

Visited during March 1976. Rectangular enclosure with bank and ditch, univallate hillfort. Possibly internal structures showing. Occupies end of spur site in Lydford Forest. Not on maps. Considered as round-type settlement. Plan prepared. Internal foundations visible, several sub-rectangular buildings against rampart and long, parallel banks with internal subdivisions in centre. Cut through by Forestry Commission road, probably at original entrance facing south-east. Linear bank along top of ridge abuts earthwork at south-east corner. Scale drawings and location map in parish file.


Department of Environment, 1977, Enclosure in South Longridge Wood (Schedule Document). SDV342589.

Enclosure in South Longridge Wood. Sub-circular enclosure circa 85 metres in diameter, the southern sector of which has been cut through by a footpath. The bank is 5-6 feet high internally, 6-10 feet high externally from the bottom of the ditch, and is circa 15 feet wide. The ditch is 12 feet wide, 2-3 feet deep. The natural slope of the land is steepest on the north where the land falls sharply to the Lyd, but the ditch on this side is especially strong and cut out of the rock. Internally, a group of rectangular and circular structures can be seen, though of what date these structures are, it is difficult to be sure. The monument is overgrown with grass and young silver birch. Other details: Monument 986, Plan.


Silvester, R. J. + Balkwill, C.J., 1977, Three Hill-slope Enclosures in the Lyd Valley, West Devon, 81-4 (Article in Serial). SDV342586.

During a study of aerial photograph surveys for Devon, an unrecorded enclosure was noted at South Longridge in the Lydford Valley. It is situated at about 175 metres on the narrowest part of a peninsula with a precipitous drop to the River Lyd on the south and a more gentle slope to a small stream on the north, the only easy approach being from the north-east. Within the enclosure several internal features survive, showing as low banks, which is a phenomenon rarely encountered in Devon earthworks. There are four small enclosures abutting the main defensive bank, three of which are rectangular, the fourth circular. In the centre of the site are two parallel banks, joined at one point by a cross-bank, and at the west end of these is a small subsidiary enclosure. The whole complex gives the impression of a central rectangular structure with outbuildings around the perimeter. A small hollow in the south-west sector may also be associated with the settlement, though its rather sharp outline does not preclude the possibility that it is more recent. Other details: Figures 1-2.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1978, SX48SE9 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV342594.

In South Longridge Wood is a sub-circular enclosure about 85 metres in diameter, the southern sector of which has been cut through by a footpath. The bank is 5 to 6 feet high internally, 6 to 10 feet high externally, from the bottom of the ditch, and is about 15 feet wide. The ditch is 12 feet wide, and 2 to 3 feet deep. The natural slope of the land is deepest on the north where the land falls sharply to the Lyd, but the ditch on this side is especially strong, and out of the rock. Internally, a group of rectangular and circular structures can be seen, though of what date these structures are, is difficult to be sure. DOE (IAM) Record Form 09/04/1976.

The monument is overgrown with grass and young silver birch. Site visit, 19/06/1978.


Griffith, F. M., 1993, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV342587.

The enclosure and its intenal earthworks show very clearly on April 1947 Royal Air Force aerial photographs, and slightly less so on June 1947 ones. The internal eathworks appear more extensive than in Silvester and Balkwill's published plan, and several linear eathworks, either hollow ways or leats, can be seen immediately to the east of the enclosure. In 1947 the site is still clear of planting, with no evidence of former afforestation.


Griffith, F. M., 1994, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV342590.

The structures inside this enclosure show very much more clearly than on Silvester and Balkwill's plan, and the central (north-west to south-east) structure appears to be a large longhouse with three clear rooms. Against the south side of the inside of the enclosure there is another large level platform, possibly another house site. Overall site condition is good though invasive tree growth occurring on the banks again. Will certainly repay detailed survey in this condition. The overall interpretation is unclear. The profile of the quite massive banks is moderately sharp, and it is possible that the whole site may be contemporary, that is medieval, in which case the juxtaposition with the tin streaming area at the bottom of the slope, directly connected by a trackway, is of intense interest. The same is true even if the primary enclosure is seen as prehistoric, reused, since though the platforms are of ambiguous date, the interpretation of the major structure in the centre of the site as a longhouse seems secure.


Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1998, Hillfort and Medieval Settlement in South Longridge Wood (Schedule Document). SDV342588.

Iron Age univallate hillfort with internal Medieval structures. Situated on the top of a steep slope overlooking the valley of the River Lyd to the south and a further steep valley to the north. Within the hillfort are a range of Medieval structures. Central to the area is a longhouse, 29.3 metres by 6.3 metres internally, defined by low banks up to 1.2 metres wide and 0.4 metres high. Surrounding this, on all but the southern side, are a series of circular and oval pits and depressions, as well as a two celled building and a square structure, representing further traces of the site's Medieval occupation. The reuse of the hillfort in the Medieval period is unusual and provides evidence for continuity of occupation. The location of the hillfort and settlement immediately above a rich alluvial tin deposit may suggest that they were sited to take advantage of this resource. Other details: Monument 30349.


National Monuments Record, 2010, 438143 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV345619.

Central to the area is a longhouse which measures internally 29.3 metres long, 6.3 metres wide and is defined by low banks which measure up to 1.2 metres wide and 0.4 metres high. Surrounding this, on all but the southern side, are a series of circular and oval pits and depressions, as well as a two celled building and a square structure, representing further traces of the site's Medieval occupation

Sources / Further Reading

SDV224714Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 13/04/1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1995. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 3388.
SDV282746Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/2149. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
SDV342586Article in Serial: Silvester, R. J. + Balkwill, C.J.. 1977. Three Hill-slope Enclosures in the Lyd Valley, West Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 35. Paperback Volume. 81-4.
SDV342587Personal Comment: Griffith, F. M.. 1993.
SDV342588Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1998. Hillfort and Medieval Settlement in South Longridge Wood. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled. [Mapped feature: #102672 ]
SDV342589Schedule Document: Department of Environment. 1977. Enclosure in South Longridge Wood. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV342590Personal Comment: Griffith, F. M.. 1994.
SDV342594Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1978. SX48SE9. OSAD Card. Card Index + Digital.
SDV342595Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry: Unknown. 1976.
SDV342596Plan - measured: Silvester, R. J. + Balkwill, C.J.. Enclosure at South Longridge, Bridestowe. A4 Unbound.
SDV342598Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1949. RAF/540/176/5004. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper).
SDV345619National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. 438143. National Monuments Record Database. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV1666Part of: Hillfort in South Longridge Woods, Lydford (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Oct 4 2018 8:43AM