Past Remains

A view of yesterday from today

Seaton Down Camp, Seaton, Devon

Dedicated to the memory of Dr Colin Dawes

I hadn't planned to publish this page yet, as the photos that I have aren't that brilliant, and I wanted to re-take these plus get some closer shots if possible. However, having seen the report in the local paper of the recent death of Dr Colin Dawes, I decided to dedicate the page to him as a memorial. I think he may have approved! :)

I only met Colin twice, when he gave talks for the Axe Valley Heritage Society that I belonged to, and enjoyed chatting to him afterwards about common interests. A palaeontologist, author and well-known fossil hunter in the area, he was documenting finds along the World Heritage Jurassic site of the Undercliff between Seaton and Lyme Regis when he died of a heart attack. The first talk of his that I attended was about the Axe Valley hill forts and the second about the finds whilst out and about with his metal detector group...some of those finds from the Undercliff, including WW2 military insignia along with pieces of jewellery and other personal objects from various eras.

There isn't much information about Seaton Down Camp itself, and is a bit of an unknown. An Iron Age hill fort consisting of an earthwork with a large linear rampart, it lies at the edge of the north east end of the down on a high promontory, possibly as a defensive fortification, and is approximately 125 metres (410 ft) above sea level.

The first photo was taken from the A3052, overlooking the ancient woodland, Holyford Woods, with the hill fort to the right. The second photo is a view of the hill fort from the western path down towards the woods.

On Google Earth and OS maps, it can be seen that the fort is horseshoe shaped, although the southern line of trees may have been a later division. The photo above and the following three were taken from the north east path leading to the woods. The hill fort itself is on private land. On the above photo the ramparts topped with trees can be seen. 

Further on along the path leading to the woods, with the hill fort on the left ( below).

Another view of the ramparts just below the tree line (below).

The photo below was taken from the southern edge of Holyford Woods showing the slope towards the upper reaches of the hill fort on the north side.

These same photos can be seen in the Photo Gallery album. More to follow after a future visit.

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