Broomfield Camp alt. Higher Castles Enclosure, Broomfield, Somerset

Broomfield Camp hillfort (alt HIgher Castle Enclosure): a large single bank and ditched sub-rectangular enclosure about 160m by 160m internally. The bank and ditch have been most severely eroded on the downhill south-east side where a much spread low bank remains. On the north-east the bank and ditch are still clear: the maximum height from bottom of ditch to top of bank is not however more than 0.4m. On the north-west a considerable, scarp, partly natural, remains and towards the west angle the bank remains intact and unploughed, c. 3m high from the exterior and c0.3m high from the interior. The scarp of the south-west rampart survives in the wood. No interior features were noted. The interior slopes down in the south-south-west direction. No indication of entrance. The outwork postulated by Grinsell does not correspond well with the usual pattern in which these features are up-slope from the main enclosure. This lies along and slightly across the slope. A pronounced ‘toe’ and an angle to the east may however suggest an outwork. {1}

A trench 50 feet long cut was through the bank and ditch in May 1964 (see PRN 28537). This showed the ditch to be U shaped, 8′ 3″ deep and 12′ wide, cut into the solid rock. Several sherds of Iron Age ‘A’ pottery were recovered from the ditch. {3}

The possible late Prehistoric and/or Roman enclosure has been mapped from aerial photographs. The enclosure appears to have been defined by two banks, separated by a ditch but does not survive in this form for a complete circuit. The internal bank encloses a rectangular area measuring 110m by 80m. A kink in the south east side of the enclosure appears on some aerial photographs to indicate a gap and may be the site of an entrance but it is not clear from the photos alone.

A possible outer work, which may yet prove to be simply a Post Medieval field boundary, extends parallel to the north and east sides of the enclosure and is situated 60m to the north east. The enclosure has been gradually ploughed smooth for over fifty years but has been recorded at regular intervals on aerial photographs during this time. The enclosure is unusual in that it survives as an earthwork but is of a comparable to shape to numerous Prehistoric the majority of these enclosures and so may indicate a different use or status.

The site was first noticed in an aerial photograph. The area is now permanently pasture although in an earlier it had had a period of arable. The position of the site could be important as it overlooks the Buncombe Valley.


OS amp coordinates: ST 216 320. Nearest town/village: Kingston St. Mary.

Data kindly supplied by the Somerset Historic Environment Record.

Record created in June 1988

© Copyright Somerset County Council 2012

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