Scheduled Monument: Bury Castle, an Iron Age defended settlement (1008808)

Authority Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Other Ref Somerset 205; 24025
Date assigned 04 April 1949
Date last amended 16 August 1994
Date revoked
The monument includes a small enclosure representing an Iron Age defended settlement with an additional cross-ridge defence on the uphill west side, situated on the tip of a spur. The site lies above a steep drop on two sides, but occupies only part of the width of the spur, leaving a gentler approach to the south west. The enclosure is sub-rectangular in plan with slightly curving sides and rounded corners. The long axis lies north east to south west. It has an internal area of 0.21ha, enclosed by univallate earthworks. The defences are greatest on the upper sides, consisting of a bank up to 2m high and outer ditch up to 2m deep, forming an external face 1.7m high. On the lower sides use is made of the natural slope which has been scarped to form a bank 0.2m high above a drop of 1.8m, with a slight outer terrace. The earthworks have a steep, well preserved profile. The most likely original entrance is in the centre of the north eastern side where there is a disturbed area consisting of a gap in the rampart and a mound of stone extending out from the interior of the enclosure, truncating the ditch which turns out along it. This may represent a tumbled out-turned entrance or collapsed gatehouse. Uphill from this there is a counterscarp bank outside the ditch. The present entrance on the south west appears to have been created by a modern trackway over the ramparts. Uphill, 32m above the enclosure, is a cross-ridge work with two arms meeting at a shallow point on the crest of the ridge. The north east arm, 45m long, runs parallel to the top side of the enclosure, and the second arm runs south from this for 45m. It is formed of a bank c.2m high and external ditch c.2m deep, of similar proportions to the upper side of the enclosure, forming an external face 2.5m high. On the north east this work runs to the edge of the hill and turns briefly towards the enclosure as a scarp and terrace. A length of natural scarp completes the gap between the two. On the south, however, the work ends well short of the edge of the hill, suggesting that approach was intended from this direction. There is a gap through the cross-work immediately south of the apex, consisting of a shallowing of the ditch and lowering of the bank, but this appears to be modern. The cross-work may have defined an outer enclosure, but a more likely purpose was to provide better visibility both from and of the site along the uphill approach. Such cross-works covering the otherwise blind approach to a defended site are a feature of several sites in the region. The outer edge of the cross-work ditch has been reused as the course of a later field enclosure bank, and it has been faced with dry stone walling. Redundant field banks are present around the site and date from the post-medieval or early modern period. Excluded from the scheduling are the interpretation signs, though the ground beneath is included.

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Grid reference Centred SS 9174 4717 (129m by 112m) (Estimated from sources)
Map sheet SS94NW

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)