Blackdown Rings

About this route

This site provides a stunning viewpoint showing the broad geological features of the South Hams.

Blackdown Rings consists of an Iron Age hill fort with a Norman motte and bailey castle built within the prehistoric embankment.

The rocks underlying the site, Staddon Grits, can be seen in the commemorative stone by the site entrance. These are harder than the Devonian slates found to the north and south, so resulting in some of the highest land to the south of Dartmoor. Devon’s oldest rocks, those of the Start Complex, are just in the distance to the south.


Getting Around

By bus: There are no direct services to the site, but there are regular buses from Kingsbridge to California Cross, with a 2km walk. See the Travel Devon website for the latest bus times.

By road: The site is signed from the California Cross to Loddiswell road (B3196) at Blackdown Cross. There is a small car park on site.

Small car park on site and information board detailing the archaeological remains found in the area.

Interesting information

The landforms of the South Hams, seen from this panoramic viewpoint, can be related to the structural trends of the Devonian rocks, which generally follow an east-west orientation. However, this contrasts markedly with the north-south alignment of the deeply-cut valley of the River Avon, which flows nearby.

A permissive path runs northwards into a newly established woodland. Blackdown Rings is also very close to Andrew’s Wood, an attractive Devon Wildlife Trust nature reserve.

The site is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Ancient Monument.

Landscape photos looking across grassy mounds of the iron age hillfort Blackdown Rings
Blackdown Rings by Derek Harper

You can explore more in this area

Photo of the River Erme running over rocks with a bridge in the background

Ivybridge and the Erme Valley

The areas of Ivybridge Town and the valley of the River Erme to the north and south are very interesting
Photo of a comma butterfly on vegetation at Andrews Wood

Andrew’s Wood

Developed on a series of fields once farmed by the villagers of Stanton, Andrew’s Wood now has a mix of