HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

Title:Iron Age Promontory Fort known as Oldaport Camp
Originator:Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Summary:Iron age promontory fort known as Oldaport Camp. A long tapering enclosure, aligned north east to south west, with an interior measuring up to 200m by 910m, although the north east end narrows to a maximum of 105m wide. The ramparts of the main enclosure survive as earthworks towards the south west end but elsewhere have largely been reduced. Their outer face varies between 3m and 5.5m wide, falling up to 5m on the north into the former tidal creek, and between 3m and 5m on the south side, where an outer ditch survives as a terrace about 12m wide. The ramparts preserve traces of a coursed stone revetment, bonded with clay. Fragments of this are evident on the north side near a natural spring which lies within the rampart and also at the south west tip of the promontory. They survive an average of 0.5m high and are towards the top of the rampart. At the south west end of the site, a narrow hornwork defends the north side of a steep hollow way, which entered the fort from the beach beside the river. This hornwork utilises part of the natural river cliff and projects about 21m from the rampart. It is between 1.3m and 2m wide and rises about 1.5m from the hollow way, falling about 2.5m on its north side. The former beach level to the north of this gateway was covered in the 19th century by a causeway, carrying a carriage drive which ran down the east bank of the Erme estuary from Flete House to Erme mouth. The causeway is not included in the scheduling. At the north east end of the site, the north rampart leaves the creek side, climbing steeply to a narrower enclosure on level ground. The nature of the rampart changes here. Where it angles up the hillside, it survives about 3m wide, rising 1m from the interior and falling about 2.5m to an outer ditch. The rampart is fronted by a coursed stone wall of clay bonded rubble, about 2m high. The outer ditch is 15m wide by 0.3m deep. Around the east end of the fort there was formerly a walled enclosure which may be evidence of re-fortification in the Post-Roman period and perhaps the presence of a Medieval castle. This is known from 19th century sketches and descriptions and had earth ramparts fronted by a mortared stone wall. Two towers are recorded at the north west and south corners of this enclosure, where a 19th century sketch shows arched gateways, the southern of which was defended by a sub-circular stone tower. The base of this survives as a mortared stone foundation. Earthworks mark the sites of both gates and earthworks of a possible rampart and ditch, facing west lie between the two. A further two possible round towers were found on this rampart line during a geophysical survey in 1991. Fragments of a mortared stone wall facing the south rampart continue to be visible for at least 100m west of the southern gateway. Part of the wall fronting the east rampart survives for a distance of 35m. It stands between 1m and 2.7m high and is 1.3m thick, backed by an earth rampart about 5m thick by 2m high. A disturbance in its centre, where the rampart is lower, is associated with a hole in the wall 2.6m wide and a spread of rubble to the east. This may be the site of a gate or a tower. A berm outside this wall is 13m across, fronted by an unfinished ditch 11m wide by 1.5m deep, with an outer glacis 7m wide by 0.8m high. The ditch stops halfway across the hilltop and cuts two parallel banks, the inner of which is 12m thick by 0.6m high and the outer 10m thick by 0.4m high. A further line of defence lies about 55m to the north east. This has a rampart between 3m and 10m thick and 0.4m to 0.7m high, fronted by a ditch whose course is now followed by a metalled lane. This is about 12m wide by 2.5m deep. A small ruined 19th century building on the north shoreline at the south west end of the site is dug into the rampart and is included in the scheduling. The modern road surfaces and fence posts are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath them is included.

Associated Monuments (3)

MDV4861Iron Age promontory fort at Oldaport Camp, Modbury (Monument)
MDV4863Tower on north side of Oldaport Camp (Monument)
MDV4864Tower on south side of Oldaport Camp (Monument)