MSO9210 - Possible Iron Age suboval enclosure northwest of Trottsway Cross (Monument)


A suboval enclosure measuring about 38m in internal diameter and defined by a broad ditch. It is probably Iron Age in date, and has been much reduced by ploughing.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

"New hill-forts and enclosures on Exmoor. Trottsway Cross, Cutcombe, NGR.902 396. CPE/UK 1980,4302. Nice little enclosure or small hill-fort which shows up very clearly on photo. Ground checked September, when under root crop, but none the less very much there". [1] Soil marks at SS 9023 3963 indicate an enclosure of scutiform outline. Its greatest length is 60 metres and greatest width 50 metres approximately. Apart from its unusual shape, this mark stands out very clearly on the photograph, being three toned. It is a dark line sandwiched between two white ones, a composition not often met with on this size of enclosure. ..? Ditch with up-cast on both sides. [2] Visited September 1959: under root crop - not visible. Probably a small hillfort. [3] This enclosure is on level ground above the 1,000 foot contour at SS 9023 3962. Constant ploughing over a long period has reduced the perimeter feature to a shallow ditch nowhere more than 0.5 metres deep, but marked by a well defined growth of darker grass. The ditch is not visible at the southeast corner and the aerial photograph [2] suggests that this is an original gap. The farmer says that when the field is ploughed a band of 'rubbly stone' can be seen on each side of the ditch. He has also uncovered, and removed, a patch of larger stones forming a circular paving just within the eastern confines of the ditch at SS 9024 3963. The enclosure does not appear to be defensive. It is probably Iron Age, and may be an enclosed farmstead. Surveyed at 1/2500. [4-6] The enclosure at Trottsway Cross is centred at SS 9023 3962, and lies in an improved pasture field, ploughed at regular intervals at least since WWII (information from the farmer).The enclosure is an angular sub-oval shape, and is defined by a broad shallow ditch 0.3 m deep. There are traces of an inner bank and a very spread outer counterscarp bank. The earthworks measure 55 m north-south by 65 m west-east, overall - the internal area measures about 38 m in diameter. There are traces of a causeway at the south-eastern corner, and the north-eastern ditch has been overlain by a hedgebank forming the edge of Long Lane.The earthworks are very reduced and spread by ploughing. The farmer mentioned that early attempts to infill the ditch had involved ploughing around the lip of the feature to infill it. Surveyed at 1:500 scale, November 1997. [7] An irregular shaped enclosure, in the field west of Trottsway Cross, showing a ditch and possibly two banks as well as a soil mark. An Iron Age enclosure. The infra red photographs show a tank with a small circular tank to the west. [2,8,9] This enclosure was plotted during the Brendon Hills Mapping Project. [2,10,11] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [13]

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Letters (L.V.Grinsell, 18 November 1950 and 1 December 1959.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 4302-3.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Map Collection Reference . Correction 6 inch (L.V.Grinsell 1959).
  • <4> Technical drawing: Wilson-North, R. and Riley, H.. 1997. Trottsway Cross/pencil survey. Unknown. Permatrace. Pencil.
  • <5> Technical drawing: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 1997. Trottsway Cross/ink survey . 1:500. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <6> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 23 August 1965.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 6 November 1997.
  • <8> Aerial photograph: Meridian Air Maps. 1977-1978. Infrared False Colour Aerial Photography. 14/033 (May 1977).
  • <9> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS9039.
  • <10> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. OS OS/70386 350-1 (25 September 1970).
  • <11> Collection: RCHME: Brendon Hills Mapping Project, SS93NW.
  • <12> Photograph: 1984. Slide (SCC Planning Department). 3.8.12.
  • <13> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36664, Extant 12 April 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO203
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11147
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 93 NW6
  • National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36664
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33477



Grid reference Centred SS 9023 3962 (61m by 54m) (2 map features)
Map sheet SS93NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Apr 12 2022 3:27PM


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