MSO8518 - Road Castle, Winsford (Monument)


A strongly fortified square hillfort of Iron Age date. The best preserved part of the bank is on the south side where it reaches 4.5 metres high.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

(SS 86293758) Road Castle (NAT) Camp (NR). [1] Road Castle, an almost square camp, some distance below the top of the hill about quarter of a mile southeast of Exford. The defence on the east, south and west was a high bank of stones mixed with earth, with a ditch below, whilst on the north it was a steep scarp with a ditch below now much silted up. The east side has been destroyed and replaced by a modern bank and hedge, where the entrance seems to have been. [2] Road Castle Camp: univallate hill fort under 3 acres. [3] This is a small, apparently Iron Age, enclosure situated on the highest point at the end of a ridge. The rampart is strong, and it is particularly well preserved on the southern side. Resurveyed at 1:2500. [4] SS 864 376. "Road Castle (intrenchments) south of Lyncombe Wood". Scheduled. [5] Road Castle is a strongly fortified site under improved pasture. The bank is 4.5 metres high on the south, where it is best preserved. On the north side ploughing has masked the rampart, the ditch is slight and two breaches have been made in the defences. On the east most of the defences have been destroyed by a hedge bank which runs north to south across the north part of the site but then turns southeast, leaving a gap between the field and the surviving defences on the south and it is probable that this is the original entrance. Visited 30 March 1973. [6] (SS 8629 3758) Road Castle (NAT) Earthwork (NR). [7] Additional Bibliography. [8-11] The site is within the Exmoor National Park Farm Conservation Scheme. It is now fenced off separately from the surrounding land. Large scale survey is planned during the winter of 1997 as part of RCHME's East Exmoor project. [12,18,19] Scheduling revised with new national number (was Somerset 162) on 3 September 2004. [13] The earthworks of the Road Castle bank and ditch defined later prehistoric enclosure are clearly visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards. The enclosing banks are up to 13 metres in diameter, defining an almost square internal area of circa 0.25 hectares. The external ditch is only clearly visible on the southern side. No internal features can be seen on the photographs available to the survey. [14-17] Enclosure is rather D shaped about 65 metres across. Internally the ramparts are 0.6 metres high. [20] An almost square enclosure measuring 57 metres between the rampart tops. It is defined by a single bank (4 metres high) and ditch (1.4 metres) deep on three sides. To the north the steep slope has been scarped with a flat area at the base 4 metres wide. There are traces of a counterscarp on the south. Parts of the north end of the east side have been incorporated into a hedgebank. At one point on the west there are signs of an external stone revetment wall. The modern entrance on the east is probably original and leads to a featureless interior which appears to have been agriculturally improved. Surveyed at 1:500 by theodolite and GPS. [21] In private ownership. [22] An almost square enclosure with a bank and an outer ditch, shown as "Road Castle Camp" on the Ordnance Survey map. Transcribed from aerial photographs. [23-25] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 9. [28] The site was surveyed in June 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 8. [29] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [30] "Road Castle Earthwork" depicted and labelled on 2021 MasterMap. [31]

Sources/Archives (31)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <2> Monograph: Page, W. (editor). 1911. The Victoria History of the County of Somerset. Archibald Constable and Company, Limited (London). 2. P. 504.
  • <3> Monograph: Ordnance Survey. 1962. Ordnance Survey Map of Southern Britain in the Iron Age. Ordnance Survey.
  • <4> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey Field Investigation, F1, 27 August 1965.
  • <5> Index: Department of the Environment (IAM). 1978. List of Ancient Monuments of England and Wales 1978. P. 120.
  • <6> Article in serial: Burrow, I.. 1981. Hillfort and Hilltop Settlement in the First to Eighth Centuries AD. British Archaeological Reports. 91. P. 257-8.
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1979. 1:10,000. 1:10,000.
  • <8> Monograph: Allcroft, A.H.. 1908. Earthwork of England: Prehistoric, Roman, Saxon, Danish, Norman, and Mediaeval. Macmillan (London). P. 115, 343, 383.
  • <9> Monograph: Burrow, E.J.. 1924. Ancient Earthworks and Camps of Somerset. P. 96.
  • <10> Monograph: Dobson, D.P.. 1931. The Archaeology of Somerset. P. 257.
  • <11> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited. pp85-86.
  • <12> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 16 September 1997.
  • <13> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 21/9/2004. English Heritage to Somerset County Council.
  • <14> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 406G/UK/1655 (F20) 3427-8 (11 July 1946).
  • <15> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 540/860 (F20) 3011-12 (2 September 1952).
  • <16> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 8637/8 (NMR 15431/34) (15 May 1996).
  • <17>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 NE. MD002192. [Mapped feature: #42565 ]
  • <18> Technical drawing: Wilson-North, R. and Riley, H.. 1998. Road Castle/ink survey. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <19> Technical drawing: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 1997-8. Road Castle/pencil survey. Unknown. Permatrace. Pencil.
  • <20> Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Field Monument Warden Report.
  • <21> Report: Wilson-North, R.. 1998. Road Castle, Winsford, Exmoor.
  • <22> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records.
  • <23> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 3313.
  • <24> Aerial photograph: September 19. HSL.UK.71-177 Run 87. 8629.
  • <25> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS8637C.
  • <26> Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1958. The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset. Penguin Books. 349.
  • <27> Aerial photograph: 1989. DAP OF3,4 (1989), TY6,7.
  • <28> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <29> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <30> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35715, Extant 21 September 2021.
  • <31> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap data. 1:2,500.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO123
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11657
  • Local List Status (No)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 NE5
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NBR Index Number: 1182411
  • NBR Index Number: 1182412
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35715
  • Scheduled Monument (County Number): SO 162
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34215



Grid reference Centred SS 8628 3757 (83m by 92m)
Map sheet SS83NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Sep 21 2021 9:16AM


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