Principal Archaeological Landscape: Holdstone Down (34)

Authority Exmoor National Park Authority
Date assigned 01 January 2011
Date last amended
Date revoked
Location The area encompasses Holdstone Down, an area of coastal heath towards the north west edge of Exmoor National Park. It is defined by its distinctive dome shaped hill, with dramatic sea cliffs, clearly visible from locations around and outside the National Park. Description of Archaeology The area contains archaeological features from a number of time periods. It contains extensive prehistoric remains in the form of four hut platforms overlooking the sea, with associated field banks and clearance cairns, as well as the remains of parliamentary enclosure, identifiable through a series of boundary stones, a 19th century holiday village development and World War Two military training. Principal significance This PAL is significant because of the complexity of the early prehistoric archaeology. The concentration of hut platforms and fields within this area is unusual. In addition, Holdstone Down is of historical significance for the role it played in bringing to an end the system of Parliamentary Inclosure. This phase of its history is marked by a number of boundary stones on the slopes of Holdstone Down, some inscribed with numbers. Attempts to develop a holiday village from the 1870’s onwards have left the remains of building platforms. Combined these form an exceptional archaeological landscape.

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Grid reference Centred SS 6202 4764 (1869m by 1164m)
Map sheet SS64NW

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