Three thousand years ago men were living on the Northern edge of Plympton.  The evidence for this is a Bronze Age boundary bank in Cann Wood, running close by Boringdon Camp (SX 544597) earthwork, constructed a thousand years later. It is estimated that there were between twenty and twenty five wooden buildings in the protection of the 10ft (3m) high ramparts of the earthwork, which were probably surmounted by a wooden stockade.  The circular enclosure covers an area of 5 acres (2 hectares).

     Another ancient earthwork,Crana Castle,(SX554557)survived only as a name in old documents, stood at the Eastern end of the Ridgeway, now you can just make out the rounded edges of the earthwork amongst the spinney at the top of Hillcrest Drive, gone un-noticed by passers by on their way to the motorway on the A38.  William Crossing in his ‘Guide To Dartmoor’ mentions a story about the earthwork; the story says that Crownhay Castle was selected as a site for St.Marys church, but not being pleasing to the Evil One, he removed the stones from it to the spot where the building now stands.  Also it’s mentioned in the Elizabethan Rental of the Grange Manor as Knaven Castell and was used as a reference point in the 18th and 19th century perambulations of the boundaries of the Borough of Plympton.  The Tithe Map of 1842 provides an accurate location in Crownhill Castle Field and Crownhill Castle Quarry (field nos.1404 and 1573), which lie at the east end of the Ridgeway.  The site is a hill spur with a steep drop to the north, now built upon. It is also stated that there are two hollow ways on the northern slopes, which would repay fuller investigation. Are these the current tracks through Longwood?
     Plympton Castle built on a mound may have been used as a site in pre history but the castle is so well known that I won’t cover it here, only in that it was chosen as a dwelling-place and stronghold by our ancestors in days long past, possibly settled by Celtic peoples.  The Romans afterwards fortified the position, probably as a station upon their road, which ran nearby. 


                                     Boringdon Camp 

                                         Crana Castle

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