MDE10861 - Medieval strip fields south of Parracombe Village (Monument)


A series of strip lynchets are probably of medieval date and cover about 8 hectares. They are visible on aerial photographs but only traces remain as earthworks.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A system of medieval strip fields extends around medieval settlement remains (MMO308) to the south of Parracombe village. The fields are defined by curving parallel lynchets and are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs but some have been levelled or virtually levelled. The relict fields were probably part of a number of communal systems of strip fields around the different foci of settlement at Parracombe (see MMO308). The strip fields described in this record extend over an area measuring up to 940 metres north to south by 730 metres east to west between Ley's Lane, Holwell Castle, Holwell Wood and seem to stop at the combes just before the land rises steeply to Rowley Down, and a knoll, to the south and south east of Parracombe. The whole system is centred at SS 6963 4067 and covers an area bounded by the following grid references: SS 6682 4458, SS 6709 4445, SS 6721 4403, SS 6689 4363, SS 6656 4383, SS 6649 4407, and SS 6654 4429. [1-2] A fragmentary system of strip lynchets, covering some 8 hectares, is visible on aerial photographs, centred at SS 668 444 to the south of Parracombe village. Most of the system lies within cultivated or improved land and a cursory examination revealed only traces of the lynchets surviving as earthworks. [3,4] A rapid examination of aerial photography shows the earthworks of these strip lynchets in an area bounded by SS 665 439, SS 670 438, SS 671 444 and SS 667 446, south of Parracombe. The strip lynchets may be associated with a settlement site SS 64 SE 38. [5,6] The medieval and/or post-medieval lynchets, described by [4] and [6], are visible as earthworks and have been mapped from aerial photographs. The lynchets form part of an extensive system which extends, over an area two kilometres square, around the villages of Parracombe and Church Town. The system is bounded by the following grid references: SS 6691 4363, SS 6601 4430, SS 6598 4500, SS6558 4566, SS 6696 4555, SS 6711 4528, SS 6682 4459, and SS 6721 4401. Isolated parts of the system are centred at SS 6758 4539, SS 6797 4442, SS 6780 4414, SS 6759 4425, SS 6750 4436 and SS 6720 4456. It is centred at SS 6681 4443. It is unclear what these features are but they may be part of an open field system or some sort of land improvement. A plan at 1:2500 scale was prepared and a full list of the photographs consulted and the methods used are recorded in a report. [7] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [9,10]

Sources/Archives (10)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Winton, H.. 1999. RCHME/EH Aerial Photographers Comment. RCHME. Photographers Comment, 20 December 1999.
  • <2> Monograph: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 2001. The Field Archaeology of Exmoor. English Heritage. P 116-119; Fig. 4.30.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF 106G/UK.1501.F/20 4303 (14 May 1946).
  • <4> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investi[41993.
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR, SS 6644/1/5-6, SS 6644/2/7-8, SS 6644/3/9-10, SS 6644/6/201-204, SS 6644/8, 14.
  • <6> Archive: Miller, A.. 1995. RCHME Aerial Photograph Primary Recording Project. 7 December 1995.
  • <7> Archive: Winton, H.. 1999. RCHME: Parracombe Project, Devon. AF1301153.
  • <8> Aerial photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1989. LC 9-13. Devon Aerial Photograph.
  • <9> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1505784, Extant 9 November 2021.
  • <10> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 909919, Extant 9 November 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 668 441 (807m by 991m) (4 map features)
Map sheet SS64SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (6)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Related Articles (2)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 60716
  • Devon SMR: SS64SE/197
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE21707
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO3791
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SE157
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SE37
  • National Park
  • NBR Index Number: AF1301153
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1505784
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 909919

Record last edited

Nov 9 2021 5:17PM


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