An ‘incredibly rare’ Iron Age hillfort that was occupied by the Roman army in 1AD is up for sale in Devon for just £100,000.
Hembury Fort Cross, four miles from the town of Honiton in East Devon, is ‘in exceptionally good condition with a well-defined circuit of defences’, according to estate agents Savills.
The site, which is at the southern end of a 240m high ridge in the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has been managed since 2014 by Natural England’s Higher Level Stewardship Scheme.
It has been restored and transformed by the scheme.
Hembury Fort Cross has been dubbed ‘the finest prehistoric hillfort in Devon and the site shows evidence of settlements dating back to the Neolithic period.
The fort was constructed on the site of a former Neolithic causewayed enclosure that’s between 7,000 and 11,000 years old. These enclosures, a large type of prehistoric earthwork that dates back to the Neolithic age and is considered the first example of an enclosure of open spaces, are also a form of large-scale prehistoric earthwork.
Hembury was later used in Iron Age Forts and as a base by the Roman army during the first half of the 1st Century AD.
Hembury Fort Cross lies approximately 15 miles from Exeter (Devon), and is listed on Historic England as a Scheduled Monument.
The nearly 39-acre site on the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) could be yours for £100,000
The team who manages the site says that Hembury was most likely chosen for a hillfort because of its natural defensive capabilities and views over the Otter Valley.
From 900 to 100 BC, hillforts were constructed and occupied. The Iron Age saw the country divided into tribe territories, and hillforts served as defense settlements.
The site has been the scene of two archaeological digs. One was conducted by Dorothy Liddel in the 1930s; the second by Malcolm Todd in the 1980s.
The Iron Age fort was discovered, and Todd’s excavations revealed that the site had been used by Roman soldiers.
The Royal Albert Museum, Exeter now displays many of the artifacts discovered during the digs. The first discovery of the Neolithic Settlement was made during the 1930s digging.
Also, the findings indicate that the fort had been occupied after 50 BC by the Belgics who were occupying south central England.
Hembury Fort Cross is regarded as the “best prehistoric hillfort” in Devon. The site also has evidence that settlements date back to the Neolithic period.
They also occupied Maiden Castle, an Iron Age hill fort 1.6 miles south west of Dorchester, in the last generation before the Roman Conquest and occupied Hembury at a later date, probably only a few years before the Conquest.
Penny Dart from Savills Exeter is marketing Hembury Fort Cross. She said that it is extremely rare for such a significant site to be on the open market.
It is a significant heritage asset and also has a lot of ecological and environmental values. The open heathland Ridge offers spectacular views of Dartmoor and south coast. Mature woodland slopes off to the horizon, creating fascinating woodland walks as well as a varied habitat for interesting fauna and flora.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity.”