The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Wooston Castle



Occupying a north facing spur between Marston Down and the course of the River Teign this complex promontory fort is, for me, by far the finest of a local triumvirate also including Prestonbury Castle and Cranbrook Castle, consisting of a pretty standard defended enclosure supplemented by a massive outer cross bank. This latter feature is much more powerful than the inner defences and, unusually in my experience, sited a substantial distance beyond, anticipating, perhaps, the 'aggressive defence' of medieval concentric castles. There are further earthworks covering the approach to the site, these including a 'hollow way' which Pastscape would appear to regard as contemporary and not, as I assumed, a later stock control feature - a proto-barbican, if you like. Clearly the architects of this 'fort had big ideas and, furthermore, were not afraid to put them into practice.

This intriguing, sleeping behemoth of a site is suitable for family visits as well as the dedicated hill fort head since it is serviced by its own woodland car park reached via a minor road north of Wooston Farm.

During my visit local volunteers were engaged in a geophysical survey... so chances are Wooston Castle may soon reclaim its former standing amongst Dartmoor's elite Iron Age enclosures.
30th July 2017ce
Edited 31st July 2017ce

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