Monument of the Month – Hembury Fort

A look at Hembury Fort from Neolithic camp to Victorian mines

Bit of an old crock

I first met Hembury through seeing pottery recovered in excavations on display at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery. The pottery is distinctive and called Hembury Ware. It’s one piece of evidence that the fort was a centre for trading.

My next encounter was a walk around the fort after a task clearing footpaths with BTCV. Seeing the fort itself is always interesting, as it’s one thing to read its on the end of a ridge and another to climb up the end of that ridge!

Defensive ditch 1
Pinhole view along the defences

A longer lasting monument

Like Maiden Castle this was a causwayed camp that was reinvented as a hill fort in the Iron Age. Before you dash off looking for remains of the causwayed camp it is under the ramparts of the later fort now. You can walk around the ramparts and on a clear day there are views towards Dartmoor. The centre of the fort is filled with a mix of trees and bracken. You can get pretty soggy on a damp day!

Centre of the fort 1
Pinhole view of the centre of the fort

From trade to industry

Close by the fort you can find the remains of collapsed mining adits. These were made mining for whetstones and many adits are collapsed now. Now forestry is the industry by the fort and there are several way marked walks through the woods.

Old mine adit
A collapsed mine adit

By Rick Lawrence

Making models and playing tabletop games since the late 1960s, and still enjoying it! Now working in heritage and dabbing around with photography, with quality cafe time when I can.

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