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CADBURY CASTLE

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The earthwork remains of an Iron Age hillfort, reoccupied in the Roman and Early Medieval periods. Excavation and other occasional finds provide evidence of intermittent activity on the hill from the Mesolithic to the Medieval period. Since at least the mid-16th century, the hillfort has also been associated with the fictitious "Camelot" of Arthurian legend. The first known excavations occurred in the late 19th century, though little record exists. Further small-scale digging was undertaken by Harold St George Gray in 1913, followed by occasional sporadic surface collection by a number of individuals. In the 1950s, systematic surface collection was carried out by a local amateur, resulting in the recognition of Neolithic and Early Medieval artefacts among the expected assemblages of Iron Age and Roman material. The presence of imported Mediterranean pottery of circa 5th-6th century AD date was a key factor in the decision to undertake a major programme of geophysical survey and excavation in 1966-70, under the auspices of the unfortunately-titled Camelot Research Committee and the direction of Leslie Alcock. The earthworks were surveyed in 1993 by staff from the RCHME Exeter office at the request of English Heritage, as a contribution to the final publication of Alcock's excavations. This record represents a general overview of the excavation and interpretation of the site, and a summary of the RCHME earthwork survey. Separate records have been created to describe the main periods of activity at the site in more detail. See associated monument records and the descriptive text of this record for further details.

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