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Somerset Historic Environment Record


Site Name: Kenwalch's Castle hillfort, Pen Wood, Charlton Musgrove
SCHEDULED MONUMENT: Kenwalch's Castle: a large univallate hillfort on Pen Hill [No:24019]
Civil Parish: Charlton Musgrove
Grid Ref: ST 7477 3354 (ST 73 SW)
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Public access:

The public accessibility of this site is unknown but it should be visible from a public right of way. Please assume that the site is private property. [Information last updated on 17 December 2002]


Univallate hillfort occupying the full width of the flat top of a N-S ridge and, to the E and W, the bank is atop steep slopes. The gaps through which a road passes is wider than the road and so are likely to be original entrances. {1}

Very overgrown and with internal features. Defences most massive on the SSE and NNW where there are entrances. A third gap, apparently recent, is present at the SW corner. {2}

Enclosure of about 1.6ha divided into two parts by the road which follows the county boundary. Bank 3.6m high from the bottom of the ditch which is 1.8-2.4m deep and 13.7m wide. {3}

Lies astride the Somerset-Wiltshire border Large univallate hillfort on the N tip of a ridge. Sub-rectangular, drawing to a point on the N. Enclosed by bank and external ditch or terrace, most massive on the S against main part of ridge with bank up to 2m high and ditch 2m deep Along sides natural steep slope is utilised to form a scarp and ditch below a shallow bank. On W side the ditch becomes a terrace 3-4m wide. Entrances probably in centre of N and S sides where a road enclosed by banks runs through Present wide gaps are probably due to course of pre-enclosure road. On NNW is an adjacent gap which may be the original entrance. Gap in SW corner unlikely to be original; also a small gap on the SE. Slight terrace inside ramparts along the west. The site is known as Kenwalch's Castle, referring to Cenwalh, and is probably a modern name. Outer terrace along W may preserve waterlogged deposits. {6}

Scheduled area revised 14 April 1994 with new national number (was Somerset 319 and Wiltshire 342. {7}

Monument lies within mature conifer plantation, with trees on the banks and ditch and within interior. Track, well-used by horses, enters on SW side and runs along lip of rampart of monument's W side, with some erosion. Track exits through wide gap in N bank, with some Rhododendron spreading around the Nw side, but generally stable and in good condition. {8}

Five year management agreement to run 1/10/2002 - 30/9/2007. {9}


1 Detailed records - Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division record card. Record ID: ST 73 SW 6 (1966) Location: HER files.
2 Description - Burrow, I. Hillfort and Hilltop Settlement in the First to Eighth Centuries AD.  (1981), 238-9. British Archaeological Reports 91.
3 Detailed records - Various. Department of the Environment and English Heritage (1980s) Location: HER collections.
4 Mention - Page, W. Victoria History of the County of Somerset.  Vol. 2 (1911), 511.
5 Mention - Gray, H St G. Vespasian's Camp or Kenwalch's Castle. Somerset Archaeology and Natural History  50:1 (1904), 43-4 Copy available in SANHS library at Somerset Heritage Centre.
6 Detailed records - Preece, A. Kenwalch's Castle: A large univallate hillfort on Pen Hill.  (17/9/1993) unpublished Monuments Protection Programme report for English Heritage. Location: HER files.
7 Correspondence - English Heritage to Somerset County Council. (19/4/1994) Location: HER files.
8 Site visit report - Graham, A [Alan]. English Heritage Field Monument Warden (24/2/1999) Location: HER files.
9 Correspondence - English Heritage to Somerset County Council. (4/4/2003) Location: HER files.

Record created in October 1984

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