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Clovelly Dykes



BACKGROUND


Although Clovelly Dykes is one of the most impressive ancient monuments in the county, surprisingly little investigation has taken place. It is assumed to be Iron Age based on parallels to its form but no firm dating evidence has been obtained thus far.


In December 2011 and February 2013 as part of the National Mapping Programme, aerial photography was undertaken by AC Archaeology and the Devon County Council Historic Environment Team on behalf of English Heritage. One of the main aims was to assess Clovelly Dykes in relation to possible designation amendment. In light of the cropmarks of a group of banks and ditches situated to the south of the hillfort (which were interpreted as possibly representing the buried remains of the southern extent of the enclosure), it was recommended this area be included in the scheduling. However after consideration it was decided not to amend the scheduling due to a number of factors including the uncertain extent of remains due to extensive ploughing.

In 2016 therefore, North Devon Archaeological Society (NDAS), in conjunction with North Devon AONB (NDAONB), decided to commission geophysical survey of the field south of the road in order to determine whether there were sufficient remains to warrant further investigation. Phase 1 of the survey was undertaken by Substrata in January 2017. Following promising interpretation, this area was extended south and the Phase 2 survey in January 2018 revealed more features, including an extension of what may be the outer boundary ditch of the monument, a sub-square enclosure abutting it and two ring ditches.






















AIMS AND OBJECTIVES


At present we are in discussion with various bodies with a view to further investigation. Some excavation in the south field has been proposed and funding for further geophysical survey in the central enclosed area is being sought from Historic England.


A more detailed article has been written for the Spring newsletter about the site but watch this space for further developments.



An article by G E L Carter BA, ICS (Retd) on Clovelly Dykes reprinted from The Devonian Yearbook 1927 is available HERE

Two NDAS members visiting the scheduled monument.