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Blackbury Camp

trees at blackbury

Discover 4000 Years of History at Blackbury Camp

Spread over five acres of open moorland in East Devon, the impressive Iron Age hillfort of Blackbury Camp offers a vivid window into prehistoric life in the area. Walking inside its stone circular ramparts lets you immerse yourself in 4000 years of evocative history since its original inhabitation.

Built around 1000BC, the atmospheric site invites you to imagine tribal living patterns, watch for wild ponies roaming the rolling hills and appreciate why Blackbury Camp’s dwellers chose this remote defensive location overlooking East Devon’s wilderness. Here’s everything you need to plan your visit.

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Getting There

Blackbury Camp is situated in the East Devon area of outstanding beauty, , around 6 miles southeast of Honiton. There is a free car park with 8 spaces onsite.

By Car

It takes just over 15 minutes to drive to the fort from Honiton. It is off the B3174 and A3052 following brown heritage signs for Blackbury Camp. The postcode for your satnav is EX24 6JE

By Bus

It is possible to access Blackbury Camp using public transport, just less direct. Catch Stagecoach Devon 52A or First X53 and alight at Three Horseshoes on A3052 between Sidford & Seaton and then follow the quiet country footpath for a mile.

Opening Times and Access

Blackbury Camp sits out in open countryside so can be visited at any time during daylight hours. As an ancient monument, entry is free with open access direct from the moorland.

There are no facilities onsite so come prepared with clothing appropriate for rugged terrain and Dartmoor’s changeable climate plus food and water as required.

blackbury camp

About Blackbury Camp

Blackbury Camp is considered one of Devon’s best preserved and most easily accessible prehistoric hillforts to explore. It is managed by English Heritage. Key details include:

  • Built around 1000BC during the British Iron Age by local tribal communities. Used for around 500 years.
  • Set on elevated land with sweeping views to control surrounding tin mining areas and approaches.
  • A 17 acre inner enclosure is surrounded by high outer ramparts and ditches.
  • Originally housed timber roundhouses plus livestock pens sheltering inhabitants and animals.
  • Now a protected English Heritage monument. Many original features and layout visible.

It provides a remarkable window into early defensive fortifications and settlement patterns starting 4000 years ago through the Iron Age.

trees at blackbury

Exploring the Fort

The most striking aspect of Blackbury Camp is its clearly defined protective banks and ditches still visible today:

  • Walk inside the outer perimeter – steep ramparts 15 feet high in parts.
  • Notice the wide ditches dug between the banks adding extra defence.
  • Follow the remains of an inner boundary and hut circles representing dwellings.
  • Remnants of gate openings in certain areas.
  • Small hollows created by ancient mining activity.

Children especially love scrambling over the landscape trying to envisage tribes and homes occupying this now mostly empty fortress. Look for Dartmoor ponies grazing nearby.

blackbury camp view

Surrounding Countryside

As well as the fort itself, be sure to appreciate the remoteness and natural beauty immediately surrounding Blackbury Camp.

  • Panoramic views across East Devon’s open moorland. Watch for hardy sheep and ponies.
  • Listen for burbling streams criss-crossing the peat moors.
  • Admire hardy plants like gorse and heather carpeting the hills in vibrant colours during summer blooms.

With an expansive wilderness setting, it’s easy to understand why prehistoric peoples would have sought safety on this easily defended plateau in the exposed landscape.

By admiring the remarkable relic ramparts rising from moorland still frequented by wild ponies, Blackbury Camp provides vivid glimpses into Devon’s earliest known inhabitants who left this evocative fort as their legacy. The camp has been listed as one of the leading English Heritage properties in Devon.

welcome to blackbury camp

Frequently Asked Questions

How accessible is Blackbury Camp? – The fort is within a wooded area, parts of which are uneven and can become muddy.

Are dogs allowed? – Yes, dogs on leads are welcome

Nearby places to visit

There are many other great places to visit close to Blackbury Camp, including:

  • A La Ronde – Unusual 16-sided Regency house in Exmouth with intriguing shell and feather collections offering a fascinating insight into historic living.
  • Killerton House – Elegant 18th century country house and gardens near Exeter with impressive costume collection, adventure playground and trails.
  • Donkey Sanctuary – Charity donkey sanctuary in Sidmouth where you can meet and learn about the rescued residents. Fun and educational visit.
  • Bicton Park Botanical Gardens – Beautiful ornamental gardens from the 18th century with glasshouses, woodland walks, play zones and railway.
  • Crealy Adventure Park – Top family theme park near Exeter with over 60 rides and attractions including animals, rollercoasters and water fun.
  • Seaton Tramway – Nostalgic narrow-gauge tramway between Seaton, Colyton and Colyford offering delightful views across the Axe Valley.
  • Beer Quarry Caves – Ancient manmade caves near Beer used since Roman times to mine Beer stone. Guided tours provide an insight.
  • Pecorama – Quirky miniature world near Beer with model railways, gardens and exhibitions. Ride the railway for scenic views.
  • Otterton Mill – Historic working flour mill alongside the River Otter containing craft shops, art gallery and eateries. Idyllic spot for coffee.

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