MSO8628 - Possible Iron Age hillslope enclosure at Monkslade Common (Monument)


An oval enclosure of a probable Iron Age date is defined by a smoothed ditch with traces of an internal bank. It has an entrance on the southern side and at least one hut platform within it.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

'New' hillforts and enclosures on Exmoor. Croydon Hill, southeast of Minehead. (A - MSO8628) NGR 995392. (B - See MSO8657) National Grid Reference 999 393. A -Was ground checked by last September. It is covered with bracken and very difficult to find, but of course it is there. [1] A. At SS 9946 3918 there is light vegetation mark. It is oval in shape and is approximateky 70 metres from north to south and 50 metres from east to west. [2] A. At SS 9947 3917, 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 aerial phtographs. The earthwork is a nondefensive enclosure. It may be of Iron Age origin, but is possibly later for in spite of its inherent weakness it has not been incorporated into the strip fields which can be seen on aerial photographs running up to the edge of the earthwork. Surveyed at 1:2500. [3] (SS 9947 3917) Earthwork (NR). [4] SS 995 392. An oval hillslope fort was marked on a map by W C Cox in 1829 on the eastern slope of Rodhuish Common. It was spotted on aerial photographs [?2] 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 995 392. Small univallate hillslope enclosure identified by Grinsell. [5] A search of the area by Burrow on 20 April 1974 failed to locate it. [6] A. Centred at SS 99470 39180 on the northwestern 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 metres north-north-west to south-south-east by 54 metres west-south-west to east-north-east. It is defined on the north, south and east sides by a smoothed ditch 7 metres wide and 0.7 metres deep with traces of an internal bank and external counterscarp in places. On the west a massive cut scarp 1.2 metres high into the natural slopes marks its edge and was created to reduce the steepness of the interior. Beyond it on the southwestern quadrant is a ditch 0.5 metres 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 southeastern quadrant at SS 99476 39164 and comprises a subcircular area measuring 10.5 metres across defined by a very spread scarp 0.4 metres high on the north and northeast sides and by the curve of the rampart on the east and southeast. Surveyed with GPS at 1:500 scale as part of RCHME's Exmoor project. [7,10,11] SS 99463917. Oval earthwork enclosure of probable Iron Age date on Monkslade Common. Monument Scheduled on 11 August 2003. [8] The remains of two oval enclosures were seen as earthworks and mapped from aerial photographs. The enclosures lie approximately 450 metres apart, the westerly on Monkslade Common and the easterly on the edge of Rodhuish Common. Both are surrounded by the remnants of a probable Post Medieval field system (MSO7489) 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 MSO8657. [2,9] Former field boundary visible crossing enclosure from the northwest to the southeast. [12] A bank forming a fairly large enclosure with an entrance in the west was noted on aerial photographs on Monslade Common. [2,12-14] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 0. [17] The site was surveyed in May 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 6. [18] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [19]

Sources/Archives (19)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Grinsell, L. V.. Letters. 18 November and 1 December 1959.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980/ 3287-9 (11 April 1947).
  • <3> Unpublished document: PALMER, JP. Mid 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 25 August 1965.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1980. 1:10000 Map, 1980. 1:10000.
  • <5> Monograph: Grinsell, L.V.. 1970. The Archaeology of Exmoor: Bideford Bay to Bridgewater. David and Charles Limited. P. 88, 202.
  • <6> Article in serial: Burrow, I.. 1981. Hillfort and Hilltop Settlement in the First to Eighth Centuries AD. British Archaeological Reports. 91. P. 267.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. R Wilson-North, and L King, 4 June 1998.
  • <8> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 20/8/2003. English Heritage to Somerset County Council.
  • <9> Collection: RCHME: Brendon Hills Mapping Project, SS93NE.
  • <10> Technical drawing: Wilson-North, R.. 1998. SS 93 NE 6/pencil survey . 1:500. Permatrace. Pencil.
  • <11> Technical drawing: Wilson-North, R.. 1998. SS 93 NE 6/ink survey . 1:500. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <12> Unassigned: March 1979. NMR OAP 1459, 186.
  • <13> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. HSL/UK/71-177 99/8806 (September 1971).
  • <14> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS9939.
  • <15> Aerial photograph: 1990. DAP QQ8-9.
  • <16> Collection: RCHME Exeter. 1993-1999. Exmoor Project.
  • <17> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <18> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <19> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36609, Extant 12 April 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO196
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11386
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO7445
  • Local List Status (Rejected)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 93 NE6
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36609
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33742



Grid reference Centred SS 994 391 (67m by 88m) Centred on
Map sheet SS93NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Apr 26 2022 2:03PM


Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.