MSO9326 - Oldberry (or Oldbury) Castle, Dulverton (Monument)


An Iron Age univallate hillfort, on a high promontory above the River Barle. Only the northeast part of the defences survives well in woodland. The rest is incorporated in massive hedge banks, and the interior is under cultivation.

Please read the .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

[SS 9093 2820] Oldbury Castle (NAT) Camp (NR). [1] Oldberry Castle is about 1.5 miles northwest of Dulverton, on a high promontory. It was originally an irregular oval, about 240 yards long and 100 yards at its broadest part. At the northeast and over the river there remains a bank of stones 7-8 feet above the present level of the outer ditch, which has been filled up with forest debris. Both the bank and ditch continue for 52 yards round the northwest side, and the bank in the same direction for about 130 yards, all trace of the ditch having disappeared under agricultural operations. Round the southeast face the bank continues for about 40 yards; the ditch having been filled up. All along this face the ground falls very steeply and seems to have been artificially scarped. Round the southwest all traces of bank and ditch have disappeared. [2] The area of the univallate hillfort is under 3 acres. [3] This is a univallate hillfort. The majority of the earthwork is now utilised as a field, the remainder being in a wood, where both the rampart and ditch survive. Elsewhere the only remains are a discontinous scarp along the outside of the modern field wall that follows the line of the rampart. Published 1:2500 survey revised.[4] Oldberry Castle at SS 909282 is scheduled as Somerset 331 under 'Camps and Settlements'. [5] Oldberry Castle has been badly damaged by ploughing. Defences only survive on the northeast, in woodland immediately above precipitous drops to the river. Here there is a single bank rising about 2 metres from the exterior ditch with a possible simple entrance giving access to the spine of a ridge running down to the northeast. The remainder of the circuit is incorporated in massive hedge banks, though the ditch can just be seen at the western corner. The interior is under continuous cultivation. Visited 1 April 1973. [6] [SS 90932820] Oldbury Castle (NR). [7] Oldberry Castle was surveyed at 1:1000 scale in April 1997. A full report, plan and land use/management overlay have been deposited in the National Monuments Record. [8-12,21] Much of the site has been incorporated into a field, the ditch filled and used as a hedge. The bank is 10 feet wide and 6 feet high, and the ditch is 18 feet wide in the wood. [14] Oldberry castle has also been mapped at 1:10,000 scale, based on the 1:1000 plan, and is visible on aerial photographs. [17-19] Oldberry Castle. [20,30] The entrance into the enclosure is not certainly visible. The entrance may be represented by the modern gateway at the western end, or the narrowing of the outer rampart and hollowing in the interior on the northern side. [21] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 9. [27] Further vegetaion clearance work was undertaken in 2008/9 following on from similar work undertaken as part of the 2007/08 monument management scheme. [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 9. [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. [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. Bottamley, C.H. P.493-494.
  • <3> Monograph: Ordnance Survey. 1962. Ordnance Survey Map of Southern Britain in the Iron Age. Ordnance Survey. 45.
  • <4> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 19 August 1965.
  • <5> Index: English Heritage. 1913-. Schedule of Monuments. Department of the Environment, Ancient Monuments of England 2, 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.241.
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1976. 1:10000 Map, 1976. 1:10000.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. R Wilson-North and H Riley, 22 April 1997.
  • <9> Collection: RCHME Exeter. 1993-1999. Exmoor Project.
  • <10> Technical drawing: Wilson-North, R. and Riley, H.. 1997. Oldberry/ink survey. 1:1000. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <11> Technical drawing: Wilson-North, R. and Riley, H.. 1997. Oldberry Pencil Survey. 1:1000. Permatrace. Pencil.
  • <12> Technical drawing: Wilson-North, R. and Riley, H.. 1997. Oldberry/ink management plan. 1:1000. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <13> Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1963. Plan of Oldbury Castle at Dulverton. OS63/F374/8. B/W.
  • <14> Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Field Monument Warden Report.
  • <15> Monograph: Burrow, E.J.. 1924. Ancient Earthworks and Camps of Somerset. P.90.
  • <16> Aerial photograph: Griffith, F.. 1980s-1990s. Oblique aerial photographs of the Devon part of Exmoor National Park. DAP LD37, LF20 (10 January 1989).
  • <17> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS9028/1 (DAP 6688/37) (10 January 1989).
  • <18> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 543/2821 (F64) 269-270 (27 April 1964).
  • <19> Archive: RCHME: Brendon Hills Mapping Project, SS 92 NW. AF1131882.
  • <20> Map: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Object Name Book reference . Rev ONB Somerset 67NE 1902, 12.
  • <21> Report: Wilson-North, R.. 1997. Oldberry Castle, Dulverton, Somerset. RCHME.
  • <22> Article in monograph: Gathercole, C.. 2003. English Heritage Extensive Urban Survey: An Archaeological Assessment of Dulverton. The Somerset Urban Archaeological Survey. English Heritage. P.3, 5, 16.
  • <23> Report: Green, T., Humphreys, C. + Waterhouse, R.. Woodliving, Dulverton, Somerset: Results of an Archaeological Building Survey and Desk-Based Study. P.6.
  • <24> Unpublished document: Fisher, J.. c.2003. Dulverton Conservation Area Appraisal. p4.
  • <25> Monograph: Dulverton and District Civic Society. 2002. The Book of Dulverton, Brushford, Bury and Exebridge. Halsgrove. P.9.
  • <26> Monograph: Siraut, M.. 2009. Exmoor: The Making of an English Upland. Phillimore & Co. Ltd. 1st Edition. P.24, 26.
  • <27> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <28> Report: Exmoor National Park Authority. 2009. Monument Management Scheme: 2008-9 Report. P. 11.
  • <29> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <30> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. H Abbot, owner; Authority for spelling.
  • <31> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36531, Extant 5 April 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 9094 2823 (189m by 199m) Estimated from sources
Map sheet SS92NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Related Articles (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO190
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11210
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 92 NW4
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36531
  • Scheduled Monument (County Number): SO 331
  • Site of Special Scientific Interest
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33542

Record last edited

Apr 5 2022 3:46PM


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