Tedbury Camp Hillfort, Elm, Somerset

Tedbury Camp hillfort is a promontory fort of c60 acres between Mells Stream and Fordbury Water.

Defences apparently consisted of two parallel banks running NW-SE with a central entrance. About 100 yards of the outer bank remains at the SE end, and 160 yards at the NW end. The inner bank, largely complete, is 10-15ft high with remains of a 4-6ft thick dry stone wall running for a considerable distance from the SE end where there are also traces of a third bank. There is a rectangular earthwork at the outer flank of the NW end. Near the centre of the inner bank a fragment of earthwork, 11ft high, extends into the interior of the camp.

Basically as described. There is one gap in the rampart at the suggested central entrance. A more likely location would be at the S terminal (now largely quarried away) where the vestiges of a third rampart remain. The dry stone wall along the inner rampart is now surveyable in only two places, and is probably a boundary wall of the same character as that which encloses the wood within the camp. The small rectangular earthwork at the NW end is a platform of natural rock. A rotary quern was found between 1939-45 when overburden was being cleared from the E end of the camp is in a nearby garden.

Earthworks consist of an inner bank 3.5m high rising from a slight ditch with a second bank surviving on the N and S ends, where the defences are cut by a forestry road. The outer work extant in 1836 is now destroyed. The inner rampart is surmounted by a drystone wall, normally constructed on the rear slope of the bank. The entrance was probably in the centre of the defences where the ends of the inner rampart form an inturn flanking a narrow passageway. A second gap to the N is probably the result of quarrying, and close to the N end a track and associated embanked field boundary cut through the abraded inner and outer banks.

Unrestricted planning permission was given for quarrying to take place on the whole of the site after WWII. Road leads to old quarry workings in NE corner where some of the site has disappeared.

A pot of Roman coins “mostly Constantine Junior” was dug up at Tedbury in 1691.


OS map reference: ST 744 488. Nearest town/village: Great Elm.

Data kindly supplied by the Somerset Historic Environment Record.

Record created in May 1985

© Copyright Somerset County Council 2007

You may also like...