Blackdown Rings South Devon

Blackdown Rings

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Blackdown Rings between California Cross and Loddiswell
Post Code

The remains of a prehistoric hill fort, (from around the 12th century) on the hill west of the River Avon close to Loddiswell.

Unusually Blackdown Rings also has the remains of a Norman Motte and Bailey built within the prehistoric embankment. Nationally there are only about 200 but Blackdown Rings is one of only 60 which also has a Bailey.

It is oval and covers approximately 2.4 hectares, enclosed by a rampart with an external ditch. The rampart is about 6 metres in height and stands some 1.7 metres tall!

There are 2 original entrances into the enclosure found to the East and West about 8 metres wide.

A Motte and Bailey were terms used to describe castles in Norman times. The bailey was a defended yard usually surrounded by a ditch - or filled moat - and contained barracks, stables and the livestock as well as stone buildings for food and weapons. It was crowned and gated by wooden towers (lookouts). Locations were essential for these forts; high ground essential and near to rivers for travel.

These places would have been very intimidating and powerful and the Normans used them to control the population - there is much to read on arrival.


  • Parking - Plenty
  • Accessibility - Good
  • Toilets - No
  • Refreshments - No
  • Dogs - Welcome year round

Best for

Views across Avon Valley, dog walking.

Look out for

Start Complex, Devon's oldest rocks just visible to the south. Livestock, especially during lambing.


Swap Start/End

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