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Elworthy Barrows



Details of site on Pastscape

[Centred: ST 07053370] Elworthy Barrows [TI] Camp [GT]. (1)
Elworthy Barrows [Listed under Simple Enclosed Camps] consists of the fragmentary remains of an approximately circular camp, circa 220 yard. diameter, defended by a bank and ditch. A considerable length of the bank, much reduced in height, remains on the N., another and higher section on the S.W., whilst the high banks which turned inwards and formed the entrance on the S.E., still remain. Polished stone axe found in Elworthy Barrows. (3) Univallate hillfort. (2-4)
"Elworthy Barrows" (Elworthy Burrows on early maps and the Tithe Map) is a fine example of an unfinished hillfort in a situation where there is no natural defence. The area was enclosed in the 1830s and probably laid down to pasture. There has been occasional ploughing but it is unlikely that there has been any deliberate attempt to destroy the rampart and infill the ditch. It was last ploughed c. 1943 when Mr. A. L. Wedlake collected a number of cores, worked flakes and three leaf shaped arrowheads from the interior and these remain in his possession. Lady A. Fox said that H. St. G. Gray was of the opinion that the earthwork was of Ne. origin but there is no evidence of this. Causewayed effects on the N. side appear to have resulted from incomplete construction - there is a wide berm between the quarry pits representing the ditch and the upcast of the rampart. The E. side has been taken a stage further with a continuous weak bank and shallow ditch although the inturned entrance is well developed. The southern side has been mutilated by a field bank constructed along the rampart. The West side of the hillfort is nearly complete though throughout working sections are distinct on the bank and in the ditch. The gap in the S.W. seems original, perhaps an intended entrance. There are no traces of any setting out bank that may have existed in the large gaps on the N.W. and N.E. The polished axe recorded by the V.C.H. cannot be traced at Taunton Mus. Surveyed at 1/2500. See GP's. AO/65/6715-8. (5-7)
An unfinished univallate hillfort, circular in plan, covering an area of 3.5 hectares and defined by defences comprising a bank and outer ditch. The northern defences are less advanced than elsewhere comprising a bank with a narrow break in its length, flanked by a series of shallow quarry ditches. The eastern defences are defined by a bank, berm and shallow outer ditch with an overall width of 22 metres. An inturned entrance is also present. The southern defences are thought to be complete and comprise a bank up to 6 metres in height with an outer ditch up to 4.5 metres wide. There are also traces of an outer bank. A possible entrance has also been recorded. (8)
The earthworks of Elworthy Barrows hillfort are clearly visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards, centred on circa SS 07123370. The earthworks are as described by the above authorities and have been transcribed as part of the Exmoor National Park National Mapping Programme survey.
A quarry, possibly of post-medieval date, has been cut into the north-eastern tip of the outer ditch, at circa SS 07103383. (9-11)
Chance Posted by Chance
27th December 2014ce

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