Principal Archaeological Landscape: Bradimoor
Exmoor National Park Authority
01 January 2011
Date last amended
Previously known as Pickedstones medieval field system
The area is a block of moorland on the north side of the Barle Valley, bordered by the fields of Landacre Farm on the south. Its western edge is the former boundary of the Royal Forest.
Description of Archaeology
The area contains an extensive relict field system of low field banks and large tracts of ridge and furrow. Although currently undated, the ridge and furrow is thought to be late medieval. Within the field system, and contemporary with it, is a drove road which formerly connected Withypool – which lies to the east – with the Royal Forest. This presumably allowed the free movement of livestock to and from the Forest. The ridge and furrow overlies two enclosures which lie on the lower slopes of the area, above the River Barle. One of these enclosures is ovoid, contains a house platform and is presumably Bronze Age. The other enclosure is rectilinear and contains three very substantial rectangular building platforms. The site is currently the subject of further study, but may represent an abandoned manorial site.
Large tracts of ridge and furrow are present on many of Exmoor’s southern commons, and the Pickedstones (Bradimoor) example is one of the best preserved. Its proximity to the Royal Forest of Exmoor and the presence of a drove road running through the system to the Forest add to its significance. The rectilinear enclosure with its three building platforms adds to the significance of the area (although further work is required to establish its exact purpose). The stratigraphic relationship between the ridge and furrow which overlies both enclosures is also of note, implying their earlier dates.