MSO7445 - Iron Age enclosure on Monkslade Common (Monument)


Earthwork remains of an oval enclosure on Monkslade Common of a probable Iron Age date. It measures 68 metres NNW-SSE and 54 metres WSW-ENE and is defined by a smoothed ditch of 0.7 metres depth with traces of an internal bank. It has an entrance on the southern side. Within the enclosure there is at least one hut platform evident as a sub-circular area of 10.5 metres diameter and 0.4 metres high.

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Type and Period (4)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

"'New' hill-forts and enclosures on Exmoor. Croydon Hill, S.E. of Minehead. [A] NGR 995392. [B] NGR 999393. CPE/UK 1980. 3288 (both on same print). [A] Was ground checked by last September. It is covered with brackenand very difficult to find, but of course it is there. [B] We spent so much time trying to find [A] that we did not have timeto ground-check [B], which looks as though it pairs with it on the principle of Hawkes' hill-forts with pastoral enclosures within half amile." (1) [A] At SS 99463918 there is light vegetation mark. It is oval in shape and is approx. 70 metres from north to south and 50 metres fromeast to west. [B] At SS 99893223 there is a roughly circular enclosure of approx diameter 35 metres. The bank is wide and shallow and what appears tobe an entrance is seen on the N. side. (2) 'A' at SS 99473917, is an eliptical earthwork lying below the top of an east facing slope. It consists primarily of a ditch though the interior has been levelled producing an inner facing scarp on the up hill side. A wide gap in the west may be original for there is no evidence that the ditch continued across this gap either on the ground or on A.Ps. The earthwork is a non-defensive enclosure. It may be of Iron Age origin, but is possibly later for in spite of its inherent weakness ithas not been incorporated into the strip fields which can be seen on A.Ps. running up to the edge of the earthwork. Surveyed at 1:2500. 'B' at SS 99893923, is situated well down a slope. It is a circular levelled area with an inward facing scarp on the upper (N.W.) side andan outward facing scarp on the S.E. side. The maximum height of thesescarps is 0.9m. A gap in the N.W. is almost certainly modern as it faces uphill and would lead to flooding. The construction entailed considerable effort to level the interior but both purpose and date are obscure. Surveyed at 1:2500. (3) (SS 99473917) Earthwork (NR) (SS 99893923) Earthwork (NR) (4) SS 995392. An "oval hill-slope fort" was marked on a map by W C Cox in 1829 on the eastern slope of Rodhuish Common. It was spotted on APs (a) but was located on the ground with great difficulty, being eventually found only by a slight difference in colour and height of the bracken. (5) SS 995392. Small univallate hillslope enclosure identified by Grinsell (5). A search of the area by Burrow on 20 4 74 failed to locate it. (6) `A' is centred at SS 99470 39180 on the north-western edge of Monkslade Common close to the crest of steep east facing slopes. It lies in enclosed land of permanent pasture, adjacent to its boundary with a former forestry plantation.The enclosure is oval in shape and overall measures 68 m north-north-west to south-south-east by 54 m west-south-west to east-north-east. It is defined on the north, south and east sides by a smoothed ditch 7 m wide and 0.7 m deep with traces of an internal bank and external counterscarp in places. On the west a massive cut scarp 1.2 m high into the natural slopes marks its edge and was created to reduce the steepness of the interior. Beyond it on the south-western quadrant is a ditch 0.5 m deep.There is an original entrance on the southern side, marked by a break in the ditch and a corresponding gap in the bank.Within the enclosure is at least one building stance or hut platform. It lies in the south-eastern quadrant at SS 99476 39164 and comprises a sub-circular area measuring 10.5 m across defined by a very spread scarp 0.4 m high on the north and north-east sides and by the curve of the rampart on the east and south-east.Surveyed with GPS at 1:500 scale as part of RCHME's Exmoor project. (7)The remains of two oval enclosures described by the previous authorities were seen as earthworks and mapped from aerial photographs. The enclosures lie approximately 450m apart, the westerly (A) on Monkslade Common and the easterly (B) on the edge of Rodhuish Common. Both are surrounded by the remnants of a probable Post Medieval field system (SS93NE 72) with low field banks and traces of cultivation marks. One of the field banks abuts the eastern side of enclosure (A) . The eastern enclosure is now recorded separately as SS93NE 90. (8)

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. Letters (L V Grinsell, 18 11 59 & 1 12 59).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Aerial photograph reference number . (RAF/CPE/UK.1980:3287-8).
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Aerial photograph reference number . RAF/CPE/UK/1980/3287-8.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigators Comments. F1 JP 25-AUG-65.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. Various. Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) . OS 1:10000 1980.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Aerial photograph reference number . (RAF CPE/UK/1980 3289).
  • <7> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited. (L V Grinsell).
  • <9> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. R Wilson-North & L King 4 June 98 RCHME Field Investigation.
  • <11> Survey: SS 93 NE 6/ink survey . 1:500. General: Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <12> Survey: SS 93 NE 6/pencil survey . 1:500. General: Permatrace. Pencil.
  • <13> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980/ 3288-9 11-APR-1947.



Grid reference SS 9945 3917 (point)
Map sheet SS93NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 93 NE6
  • National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 36609
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33742

Record last edited

Aug 17 1999 12:00AM


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