Scheduled Monument: Brewer's Castle (1021358)

Authority Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Other Ref 35976
Date assigned 01 August 1977
Date last amended 03 September 2004
Date revoked
Details The monument includes Brewer's Castle, a hillfort of Iron Age date located at the eastern end of Hawkridge Ridge Wood in the lower Barle Valley, about 3km north west of Dulverton. The site occupies a steep, flat-topped knoll which is bounded by the River Barle on the north, east and south east sides, and by Dane's Brook on the south and south west sides. The hillfort enclosure is pear-shaped and follows the natural contours of the knoll with the broadest end to the east. An area of just under 0.4ha is defined by the sides of the knoll which have been artificially enhanced to form a bank with an outward-facing scarp. This is between 2m and 4m high and is visible as a low bank less than 0.5m high internally except on the north and north west sides. The internal dimensions of the defended area are approximately 75m east-west and 62m north-south. The enclosure has two entrances, one on the west side and one on the north east side, both of which may be original. The western entrance is located across the narrowest part of the enclosure and is formed by a 2m break in the scarp with the scarp ends flanked by internal banks. The north eastern entrance is formed by simple inturned scarp ends. A length of revetment walling survives in the scarp face to the south of this entrance. Three level platforms have been identified within the interior and all are located within the shelter of the north eastern entrance. Two of these platforms are thought to represent the sites of buildings, possibly contemporary with the prehistoric hillfort; the largest platform is rectangular in plan, 6m long by 2.5m wide with visible traces of the remains of a wall. A smaller, sub-rectangular platform is located immediately to the south. A third platform is visible as a circular depression and has a spoil heap located 10m to its north. It may also be contemporary with the enclosure, although its function is unknown. Vitrified stone recovered from the base of the rampart to the south of the northern entrance suggests destruction by fire because of the high temperature needed for vitrification to take place. The site is traditionally associated with William Brewer, a warden of the Royal Forest of Exmoor from 1216 to 1225, who had permission to hunt deer. It has been suggested that the remains of a small rectangular building located at the foot of the promontory about 100m from the hillfort (not included in the scheduling) represent William Brewer's hunting lodge, although this is not substantiated. Selected Sources Book Reference - Title: National Monument Record - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: SS 82 NE 1 Book Reference - Author: Riley, H & Wilson-North, R - Title: The Field Archaeology of Exmoor - Date: 2001 - Page References: 63-64 - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: Hillforts in the Barle Valley

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Grid reference Centred SS 8831 2976 (102m by 81m)
Map sheet SS82NE

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)