MSO8737 - Post-medieval earthworks east of Brewer's Castle (Monument)


Building remains and platforms have been suggested to represent a hunting lodge for William Brewer, a charcoal burner's shelter and a possible agricultural building, but none of these interpretations are now thought likely.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

SS 8838 2975. The remains of a building, situated in the deciduous woodland of Hawkridge Ridge Wood. It is set on a shelf on an east facing slope some 30 metres due east of, and below, Brewer's Castle (MSO8683), about 193 metres above Ordnance Datum. The remains consist of the footings of a rectangular stone building about 6.5 metres east to west by 3 metres internally. Only its north wall of coursed stones, 1.1 metres wide and 0.4 metres high, is now well defined. The other sides, probably robbed, are evident as turf covered scarps set into the slope. There is no definite trace of an entrance but it may have been at the east end. Adjacent to this end is a rough platform, about 8 metres north to south by 5 metres marked by a scarped edge. The building was probably approached by a gulley, or hollow way up the slope from the southeast. A path is shown here on the 1889 Ordnance Survey map [1]. Eardley-Wilmot [2] suggests that this might be the possible site of William Brewer's hunting lodge. To the north-north-west of the building remains, about 12 metres away, is an oval hollowed area about 5 metres north to south by 3 metres. Another hollow, about the same size and appearance, is situated about 20 metres northeast of the northeast corner. These may be associated with the building or could be charcoal burning platforms. No Survey Action. [3] A slight subrectangular building platform lies immediately to the south of the main building platform (see above), while 10 metres to the north is a circular depression and spoil mound. The building may be a charcoal burners shelter (like MSO11208) or connected with the deserted farm (MSO8738), although it is thought unlikely to be an agricultural building. There is little to support the suggestion made by Eardley-Wilmot [2] that it represents William Brewer's hunting lodge (William Brewer was a forester during the 13th Century). Indeed the name itself appears to have been recently attached to the hillfort, appearing first on the 1888 Ordnance Survey map [1]. The castle was named "Hawkridge-castle" by Collinson in the 18th Century. [4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890, Somerset 57(13).
  • <2> Monograph: Eardley-Wilmot, H.. 1990. Yesterday's Exmoor. Exmoor Books. 9-10.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 17 January 1996.
  • <4> Report: Riley, H.. 1999. Mounsey Castle and Brewer's Castle: Two Iron Age Enclosures in the Barle Valley, Somerset. 5-6.



Grid reference Centred SS 8837 2976 (23m by 43m)
Map sheet SS82NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Related Articles (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12716
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 82 NE25
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1050081
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35956

Record last edited

Oct 13 2021 1:46PM


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