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Bury Castle (Selworthy)


<b>Bury Castle (Selworthy)</b>Posted by thesweetcheatImage © A. Brookes (23.4.2021)
Nearest Town:Minehead (5km E)
OS Ref (GB):   SS91764717 / Sheet: 181
Latitude:51° 12' 46.52" N
Longitude:   3° 32' 59.43" W

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<b>Bury Castle (Selworthy)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Bury Castle (Selworthy)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Bury Castle (Selworthy)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Bury Castle (Selworthy)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Bury Castle (Selworthy)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Bury Castle (Selworthy)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Bury Castle (Selworthy)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Bury Castle (Selworthy)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat <b>Bury Castle (Selworthy)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat


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Abridged description from the Exmoor HER:
The main enclosure is bounded by a rampart and outer ditch, but because it is situated on a west to east slope the ditch disappears and the rampart degenerates into little more than an outer scarp on the downhill (eastern) side. No continuation of the southern end of the western outwork can be traced, but the northern end turns and is linked by a scarp to the main enclosure.

There are traces of stone building foundations in the northeast part of the inner enclosure where a track enters. Whybrow mentions that a good deal of stone is evident in the structure at and near the northeast entrance, as well as at one or two other points, and it is possible the rampart was originally stone revetted.

The site lies at 240 metres above Ordnance Datum on a spur running roughly northwest to southeast immediately northwest of Selworthy village. Situated on the tip of a spur, with a steep drop on two sides, but a gentler approach to the southwest. The enclosure is subrectangular in plan with slightly curving sides and rounded corners, having an internal area of 0.21 hectares enclosed by univallate earthworks. The defences are greatest on the upper sides, with a bank up to 2 metres high and outer ditch up to 2 metres deep, forming an external face 1.7 metres high. On the lower sides use is made of the natural slope which has been scarped to form a bank 0.2 metres high above a drop of 1.8 metres, with a slight outer terrace. The earthworks have a steep, well preserved profile. The most likely original entrance is in the centre of the northeastern side where there is a disturbed area consisting of a gap in the rampart and a mound of stone extending out from the interior of the enclosure, truncating the ditch which turns out along it. This may represent a tumbled outturned entrance or collapsed gatehouse. Uphill from this there is a counterscarp bank outside the ditch. The present entrance on the southwest appears to have been created by a modern trackway over the ramparts. Uphill, 32 metres above the enclosure, is a crossridge work with two arms meeting at a shallow point on the crest of the ridge. The northeast arm, 45 metres long, runs parallel to the top side of the enclosure, and the second arm runs south from this for 45 metres. It is formed of a bank approximately 2 metres high and an external ditch approximately 2 metres deep, of similar proportions to the upper side of the enclosure, forming an external face 2.5 metres high. On the north-east this work runs to the edge of the spur and turns briefly towards the enclosure as a scarp and terrace. A length of natural scarp completes the gap between the two. On the south, however, the work ends well short of the edge of the hill, suggesting that approach was intended from this direction. There is a gap through the crosswork immediately south of the apex, consisting of a shallowing of the ditch and lowering of the bank, but this appears to be modern. The crosswork may have defined an outer enclosure, but a more likely purpose was to provide better visibility both from and of the site along the uphill approach. Such crossworks covering the otherwise blind approach to a defended site are a feature of several sites in the region. The outer edge of the cross-work ditch has been reused as the course of a later field enclosure bank, and it has been faced with drystone walling. Redundant field banks are present around the site and date from the post-medieval or early modern period.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
16th January 2022ce