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THE CASTLES

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A univallate Iron Age hillfort known as The Castles which occupies the rounded summit of a red sandstone hill on the eastern edge of Exmoor. The hillfort is oval in plan and aligned from east to west. An area of 1.6 hectares is enclosed by a bank with an external ditch and an additional, scarped bank outside the ditch on the north side. The hillfort is fortified on the eastern side with a steep bank 3 metres high and up to 9 metres wide. Less steep banks on the south and west sides, where the contours of the hill provide a natural defence, have an average width of 8 metres. A ditch, flanking the eastern side of the hillfortm survives as a shallow depression 5 metres wide. The bank on the north side of the hillfort is 7.5 metres wide. It is fronted by ditch 0.4 metres deep and 8 metres wide with a counterscarp bank 6 metres wide. An entrance, 10 metres wide, formed a slight inturning of the banks located on the eastern side is probably original. A second entrance located to the north of this, formed by a simple break in the banks, is considered to be more recent. The original profile of the banks on the east, south and west side has been blurred by the addition of ancient hedge banks. Several prehistoric finds from within the hillfort have been recorded and these include a Neolithic arrowhead and a polished axe fragment. Roman coins have also been found. Scheduled.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the English Heritage website.