MSO9210 - Sub-oval enclosure northwest of Trottsway Cross (Monument)


A sub-oval 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.

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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 ft. 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 m. deep, but marked by a well defined growth of darker grass. The ditch is not visible at the south-east corner and the A.Ps. [2] suggest 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] 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. [5] This enclosure was plotted during the Brendon Hills Mapping Project. [2,6] The SMR shows a small circular enclosure to the west of the main enclosure, which is apparently visible on infra red photographs. [7,8]

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. Letters (L.V.Grinsell, 18.11.50 & 1.12.59)..
  • <2> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 4302.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Map Collection Reference . Corr 6" (L.V.Grinsell 1959).
  • <4> Unpublished document: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigators Comments. F1 GHP 23-AUG-65.
  • <5> Survey: RCHME. 1997. 1:500 earthwork survey.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. R Wilson-North 6 Nov 1997 RCHME Field Investigation.
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. OS OS/70386 350-1 25-SEP-1970.
  • <8> Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 9039.
  • <9> Collection: RCHME: Brendon Hills Mapping Project, SS93NW.
  • <10> Survey: Trottsway Cross/ink survey . 1:500. General: Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <10> Technical drawing: CARPENTER. Trottsway Cross/pencil survey.
  • <11> Photograph: February 198. Slide (SCC Planning Department). 3.8.12.



Grid reference Centred SS 9023 3962 (61m by 54m) (Centred on)
Map sheet SS93NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO203
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11147
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 93 NW6
  • National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 36664
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33477

Record last edited

Jan 28 2013 2:54PM


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