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HER Number:MDV8824
Name:Hunter's Tor Camp, Lustleigh


Hunter's Tor Camp hillfort shows evidence for two phases of construction; a multiple enclosure followed by a stone wall. A possible hut circle is visible on the north-east side of the outer rampart.


Grid Reference:SX 761 824
Map Sheet:SX78SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishLustleigh
Ecclesiastical ParishLUSTLEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78SE/5
  • Old SAM County Ref: 279
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX78SE2

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Cambridge University Collection, CUC/RC8-X, 38-9 (Aerial Photograph). SDV314869.

Shows very well on aerial photograph (at NCC Taunton).

Cambridge University, 03/05/1971, CUC/BFF, 32 (Aerial Photograph). SDV308638.

Griffith, F. M., 13/05/1985, Hunters Tor Camp (Personal Comment). SDV280653.

Site visit 5th May 1985. Site survives in excellent condition. A probable hut circle is visible between the inner and outer banks at circa SX76198245. This is shown on Silvester and Quinnell's survey, most features of which confirmed. No hut circles observed in interior, which has plainly been disturbed.

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

Beckerlegge, J. J., 1940, Ninth report of the Plymouth and District Branch, 156 (Article in Serial). SDV147947.

Fox, A., 1952, Twenty-first Report on Ancient Monuments, 240 (Article in Serial). SDV342835.


Cotton, M. A., 1961, Observations on the Classification of Hillforts in Southern England, 63 (Article in Monograph). SDV280651.

Cotton refers to the possibility of two constructional phases, one consisting of a stone built wall.

Feacham, R. W., 1971, Unfinished Hill-Forts, 28 (Article in Monograph). SDV280655.

Silvester, R. J. + Quinnell, N. V., 1980, Survey of Hunters Tor Camp (Plan - measured). SDV291863.

Camp surveyed at 1:1000. Many subordinate features visible.

Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/HP, 8-9 (Aerial Photograph). SDV304235.

Silvester, R. J. + Quinnell, N. V., 1993, Unfinished Hillforts on the Devon Moors, 17-22 (Article in Serial). SDV62321.

Hunter's Tor lies at the end of a ridge bounded by the River bovey and the Wray Brook with views to the north and west. Surface examination suggests a complicated constructional sequence. The incorporation of a lynchet on its west side and the presecne of at least four denuded banks within its interior suggests it was superimposed upon an earlier field system.
The hillfort comprises three enclosures, defined by inner, middle and outer circuits. The inner circuit encloses 0.6 hectares and has a low bank with a ditch on the south side and continues west as a scarpt. The outer circuit is of similar construction. The defences are at their most massive adjacent to the simple causewayed entrance with a vertical height of circa 2.4 metres from ditch bottom to bank top. At the south-west corner the rear of the bank is overlain by the middle circuit and begins to fade. However, its alignment at this point implies that the builders used a pre-existing lynchet as a marker bank. There are also indications that a further section of lynchet was heightened halfway along the west side. This aside, there is a substantial gap in the perimeter defences until the north-west corner where the bank, emerging as a scarp, gradually increases in size. Traces of a ditch are visible where the bank curves towards the entrance. The middle circuit is different and sits uncomfortably between the inner and outer lines. It consists of a platform of stones with large upright revetment slabs lining the inner face on the south side. A similar technique is apparent at the north-west corner. There is no evidence of any continuation along the west side. Elsewhere the platform has been utilised as a field wall foundation. A possible hut intrudes upon the outer face of the rampart in the north-east. At the entrance, which is in line with those through the other circuits, the banks turn in sharply to form a passage 25 metres long. The terminals appear to have been deliberately heightened and overlie the ends of the innter circuit. The partial blockage of the entrance may represent a change of plan but this more likely represents material dumped during the subsequent construction of a platform cut into the outer angle of the adjacent inturn.
Two phases of construction area apparent. Two concentric ramparts were initally planned, typlical of hillforts around the edge of Dartmoor. The inner circuit is certainly unfinished and the dumping of material from the ditch to form, in effect, a counterscarp bank, seems illogical, although a similar process has been recorded at Durnhill in Scotland (citing Feacham). More of the outer circuit was completed. The stone wall is a later construction but also seems unfinished, although the amount of loose stone removed for building nearby field walls cannot be estimated.

Fox, A., 1996, Prehistoric Hillforts in Devon (DNPA Copy), 39 (Monograph). SDV360402.

Moore, B., 2004, Hunter's Tor Hillfort, Lustleigh, Devon: an Earthwork Survey (Report - Survey). SDV359867.

Earthwork survey of Hunter's Tor hillfort of probable Iron Age date. It has three separate elements with an inner and outer earthwork and a central rampart. The three entrances are aligned.

Natural England Volunteers, 2009-2015, Natural England Volunteer Archaeological Survey, B4 (Worksheet). SDV350591.

Site visit 16th April 2010. Features clearly visible.

Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England, 1003827 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

Hunter's Tor Hillfort. The monument includes a small multivallate hillfort situated on a prominent hill forming the northern side of the valley of the River Bovey. The hillfort survives as an oval enclosure measuring 116 metres long by 70 metres wide internally defined by three concentric ramparts with shallow ditches to the south east and two to the north-west. The entrance is to the south east and inturned creating an embarked causewayed entrance through the three ramparts. The outer rampart and ditch narrow to the north and west. A hut circle lies between the ramparts on the eastern side between the middle and inner ramparts.

Ralston, I. + Lock, G., 2017, Atlas of Hillforts (Website). SDV360888.

Ministry of Works, 27/07/1960, Hunter's Tor Camp, Lustleigh, Devon (Schedule Document). SDV280635.

Hunter's Tor Camp. A fine small-scale triple-ramparted hill fort. The ramparts are stone built, with shallow ditches, wide spaced with level berms, 40-50 feet wide, between each, in the south-west manner. The entrance is from the south-east. The ends of the middle rampart are inturned, forming an embanked entrance way, which joins the innermost rampart: the entry through the outer rampart and ditch is by a causeway.
The outer rampart and ditch fade out on the steep slopes to north and west.
The condition is quite good, despite the removal of much stone for field walls by the farmer.

Griffith, F. M., 29/04/1984, Hunter's tor Camp (Ground Photograph). SDV280652.

National Monuments Record, Unknown, SX7682 (Aerial Photograph). SDV280645.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SX78SE2 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV280644.

Site visit 3rd March 1985. Three hut circles described in the interior, but a subsequent site visit on 8th May 1953 failed to find these.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV147947Article in Serial: Beckerlegge, J. J.. 1940. Ninth report of the Plymouth and District Branch. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 72. A5 Hardback. 156.
SDV280635Schedule Document: Ministry of Works. 27/07/1960. Hunter's Tor Camp, Lustleigh, Devon. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV280644Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SX78SE2. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card.
SDV280645Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. Unknown. SX7682. National Monuments Record Aerial Photograph.
SDV280651Article in Monograph: Cotton, M. A.. 1961. Observations on the Classification of Hillforts in Southern England. Problems of the Iron Age in Southern Britain. Unknown. 63.
SDV280652Ground Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 29/04/1984. Hunter's tor Camp. Slide.
SDV280653Personal Comment: Griffith, F. M.. 13/05/1985. Hunters Tor Camp.
SDV280655Article in Monograph: Feacham, R. W.. 1971. Unfinished Hill-Forts. The Iron Age and its Hillforts. Unknown. 28.
SDV291863Plan - measured: Silvester, R. J. + Quinnell, N. V.. 1980. Survey of Hunters Tor Camp. Digital.
SDV304235Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/HP. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 8-9.
SDV308638Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 03/05/1971. CUC/BFF. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Unknown. 32.
SDV314869Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University Collection. CUC/RC8-X. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). 38-9.
SDV341465Article in Monograph: Wall, J. C.. 1906. Ancient Earthworks. Victoria History of the County of Devon. Hardback Volume.
SDV342835Article in Serial: Fox, A.. 1952. Twenty-first Report on Ancient Monuments. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 84. A5 Hardback. 240.
SDV350591Worksheet: Natural England Volunteers. 2009-2015. Natural England Volunteer Archaeological Survey. Natural England Archaeological Survey. Worksheet. B4.
SDV359353National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1003827.
SDV359867Report - Survey: Moore, B.. 2004. Hunter's Tor Hillfort, Lustleigh, Devon: an Earthwork Survey. English Heritage. A1/09/2005. A4 Comb Bound.
SDV360402Monograph: Fox, A.. 1996. Prehistoric Hillforts in Devon (DNPA Copy). Prehistoric Hillforts in Devon. Paperback Volume. 39.
SDV360888Website: Ralston, I. + Lock, G.. 2017. Atlas of Hillforts. https://hillforts.arch.ox.ac.uk/. Website.
SDV62321Article in Serial: Silvester, R. J. + Quinnell, N. V.. 1993. Unfinished Hillforts on the Devon Moors. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 51. Paperback Volume. 17-22.

Associated Monuments

MDV104908Parent of: Hut Circle at Hunter's Tor Camp, Lustleigh (Monument)
MDV117258Related to: Post Medieval Field System south-east of Hunter's Tor Hillfort, Lustleigh (Monument)
MDV8848Related to: Prehistoric Field System around Hunter's Tor Hillfort, Lustleigh (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6071 - East Devon Natural Nature Reserve and surrounds Archaeological Survey
  • EDV7122 - Hunter's Tor Hillfort, Lustleigh, Devon: an Earthwork Survey (Ref: A1/09/2005)

Date Last Edited:Feb 26 2018 4:18PM