What will I see?
Iron Age Hillfort with elaborate south entrance - the enclosure at Blackbury is oval in shape, roughly 200mtrs (660ft) long by 100mtrs (330ft) wide. Surrounding it is an impressive rampart, now about 3mtrs (10ft) high and up to 10mtrs (33ft) wide. This is built from clay and flint quarried from an outer ditch which measures up to 12mtrs (39ft) wide.
The single entrance on the south side is defined by large ramparts. It was about 5mtrs (16ft) wide and would originally have been rivetted with timber and contained a large gateway with timber gates, possibly set within a timber gate - tower. The ground surface around the entrance was gravelled with pebbles from the stream below, suggesting that heavy use was expected during the wetter months of the year. Three other gaps in the ramparts are thought to be more recent features.
The most remarkable feature of Blackbury Camp is the earthwork in front of the entrance, which is triangular in shape and flanked by a bank and ditch. Settlements of this period usually have additional outer enclosures but these are normally arranged in concentric circles around the main one. We do not know whether the outer enclosure at Blackbury Camp was intended to be defensive or whether it had a practical use, perhaps as a holding area for cattle.
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How do I get there?
With its own car park, Blackbury Camp is signed from the Seaton Road - Map Reference SY188 924
Can I find out more?
- Download our Blackbury Camp leaflet
- The report of the 1960's excavtion can be found in Devon Archaeological Society Proc.1954-5 Young and Richardson
- A plan of the site drawn by Peter Orlando Hutchinson and published in his History of Sidmouth can be found in Travels in Victorian Devon by Jeremy Butler
- Visit the English Heritage web site