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(not o published)
rEarthworks near Horseshoes (never published)
Woodbury Castle ( published)
C Η Α Ν Ν Ε Ι
L I S H
OUgbrook Park Camp
the R Es
the avenue of small stones leads, and is in the same relation to them, as a carn, or a circle, in a similar position. Occasionally a long-stone may be the remnant of an avenue which consisted of many of these gigantic ortholithic members, but it does not then come under the denomination of maen-hir, or “ long-stone,” as a Greek column once forming part of a peristyle does not bear any relationship to one erected as a monument. An avenue is also termi. nated by a stone loftier than the rest, but this is not a “ maen-hir”; nor is the “long-stone merely the single remaining supporter of a fallen cromlech, as some have supposed. Nine or ten are still standing in Gower, and many in other parts of Wales; and about Boscowen, in Cornwall, are several, though so many have been destroyed there, as in other parts of the country.
(To be continued.)
ON THE HILL FORTRESSES, TUMULI, AND SOME
OTHER ANTIQUITIES OF EASTERN DEVON.
BY PETER ORLANDO HUTCHINSON, ESQ.
In giving some account of the antiquities of eastern Devon, my paper must necessarily be discursive ; and as I am limited for time, I shall condense as much as possible. I dwell mostly on the pre-Norman period, though I may now and then descend cursorily to later times.
To begin with the hill fortresses. For the sake of clearness, I will attack the eastern side of the county first, and then proceed westwards. (See Map on plate 3.) During the earliest times of which we have any historical knowledge, it is supposed that the river Axe was the dividing line between the Danmonii of Devon, and the Morini, a tribe of Gaul that had established themselves in Dorsetshire.
Several camps in this part of the county I omit noticing, 1 Errata.-P. 23, line 19, after" Dwfn” read" or Duvn”; p. 27, line 2, after * see below” read “p. 44”; 'p. 28, line 14 from bottom of page, for when their religion and customs become known to us from the monuments,” read “when those monuments were erected which make known to us their religion and customs."
because I have nothing new to offer respecting them. There is, however, an oblong square camp on Littlecombe Hill, near Branscombe, which appears to have escaped the vigilance of our local antiquaries. The farmers call the plot of ground Langham Field, but as it forms a portion of Bury Farm, I now call it Bury CAMP. (See Plate 4, fig. 1.) On three sides it is surrounded by a ditch and rampart, the edge of the cliff occupying the fourth side. This outer side measures nine hundred and fifty-two feet; through the middle the length is more than one thousand, owing to an advance of the works at what was probably the original entrance. The entrenchments are most perfect at the north-west end, where the measurement is nineteen feet from the bottom of the ditch to the top of the agger. The width across the middle of the camp is three hundred and fifty feet. Along the north-east flank, within the area, run the traces of a bank. I was told by a man on the spot, that an attempt to cultivate a garden was once made here, and that this is only the remains of the hedge. The ground is level all round outside, except on the outer part bounded by the cliff. If the shape of this camp be a sufficient warranty, we will assign it to the invading Romans; and I am the more encouraged to do so from the discovery of decidedly Roman remains in the neighbourhood.
Stone coffin.—Half a mile north-west a stone coffin containing human remains was first met with in a field about the year 1790. At this time, and at one or two subsequent examinations of the place, all the large bones of the skeleton were removed ; and on the 27th of July, 1857, I assisted in exploring the locality carefully. The coffin was made of soft Beer stone, which is chalk. The top part was only a few inches beneath the turf, but possibly there might have been a mound over it in former times. The whole of it was much broken into fragments, except about three feet of the head end ; but even of this, the right side was broken out. The head end lay about fourteen degrees west of north. It was eleven inches and a half deep, and about seven feet long. I produce the fruits of this search. Amongst the bones are two finger bones, a metacarpal bone of the back of the hand, a toe bone, a tooth, and so on. There is also apparently an iron rivet much corroded ; and last, though not least, a bronze fibula or brooch, which has lost the pin.
This fibula has been pronounced Roman, by competent authority.
CASTLE CLOSE.—A mile north-east from this spot, a work of apparently quadrangular form has been nearly destroyed within the last dozen years, by quarrymen digging for chalk. The place is called “ Castle Close,” and is in Branscombe parish. In the plan, a part has been excavated, and all that now remains is a portion of about twenty to twentyfive yards in length. A trench, about seven feet deep, had been filled with dry flints, probably when the land was first cleared and brought into cultivation ; but the digging away of the earth exposed the ends gradually to view. Whilst this process was going on, bones continued to be found almost daily in the bottom of the trench. The quarrymen also said they met with pottery, some brown, and some yellow; and likewise, what they believed to be parts of an iron crock. If they really met with iron, possibly it may have been portions of a helmet or breastplate. Unfortunately, none of these relics were preserved. A tumulus was removed, and in or near to it a slab of stone, measuring about three feet by two and a half, by nine inches thick, was found, covering a cavity in which were bones. That slab now forms the floor of the most southerly of the two limekilns close by.
Quern and Victorinus,—Not far from this, on the land of Mr. Tucker, of Branscombe, was found a Roman coin of Victorinus, and the lower stone of a quern or hånd-mill
, which I exhibit. The stone is of hard igneous rock, somewhat resembling the boulders that lie scattered on Haldon.
Watercombe vase.—About ten years ago, in a field called “ Crossway Close,” near Watercombe, in the same neighbourhood, a sepulchral earthen vase was dug up, of supposed Roman design. It is described to have been about half a yard in diameter, and nearly as high. I have seen but one fragment of it, which the farmer would not part with ; but I made a facsimile of it in coloured plaster. The pattern was impressed upon the wet clay of the original with a twisted cord.
Earthworks behind“ Three Horseshoes” Inn.- Advancing still further inland, and a little more than two miles from the coast, we find an extensive earthwork in the fields behind “ The Three Horseshoes,” a wayside inn on the Lyme road. This has scareely been noticed by our local writers. A ridge runs through the fields from south to north more than a thousand feet; it then turns towards the east by a rounded corner, and abuts against a hedge. If this were the western side of a Roman camp, the hedge seems to take the place of the north side ; and another, at the south end, leads to the idea that the south side may have run there. The east side, if there ever were one, is not apparent now. There is something like a sunk road. Persons who recollect the land before it was enclosed, say that the ridge was then from twelve to fifteen feet high. It may
be observed that the ditch is said to have been on the inside of the agger.
BLACKBURY CASTLE.—It will be seen that I have produced several articles and three series of earthworks, of apparently Roman type. Let us now consider a camp constructed on altogether different principles, and which may be assigned to a different race of people. Half a mile north from the last-mentioned works, and separated from them by a deep valley lies Blackbury castle. (Fig. 2.) It is an oval camp, measuring six hundred and thirty-four feet long, by three hundred and twenty-four wide, surrounded by a ditch and agger. The slope of the agger on the south-east side is thirty-six feet. One remarkable feature is the original entrance on the south. From the middle of the camp a sunk road is carried outwards to the distance of one hundred and eighty feet; and from the outer end of this road, the trenches are deflected back towards the extremities of the oval : so that this sunk road is bounded by two large triangles of similar construction to the vallum and fosse of the camp itself. Another strange circumstance connected with Blackbury castle, is the existence of calcined flints, which, though I have found in other places, abound mostly at the south point of the eastern triangle. It has been conjectured that these have been caused by beacon fires. I find it difficult to accept this solution, but I find it equally difficult to offer another. I find it difficult to accept this solution, first, from the fact that the locality where they are most abundant, is not on the crown of the hill, where a beacon would reasonably be placed, but considerably below the crown, towards the hollow of a valley, shut in by the opposite hill : so that a light kindled at this spot would