MDE10871 - Medieval strip lynchets around North and South Swincombe (Monument)


An area of strip lynchets covering some 35 hectares appears as well preserved earthworks on aerial photographs. They are probably of medieval date and represent open field cultivation.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 690 417. A group of banks suggesting strip fields is visible on aerial photographs north of West Swincombe. Centred at SS 690415 is a system of strip lynchets extending to some 35 hectares, visible on aerial photographs and recorded by McDonnell in his aerial photographic transcription of Exmoor. [4,2] The system extends into the fields around north and south Swincombe and appears to represent open field cultivation. Similar systems have been observed around Barton Town, Challacombe (MMO312) and around Parracombe (MDE10861, MMO308). [3] A rapid examination of air photography shows the earthworks of the strip lynchets (probably of Medieval date) visible in an area bounded by SS 684 413, SS 692 410, SS 696 414, SS 695 419 and SS 685 418, around North and South Swincombe. [4,5] The features described above are system of medieval strip fields extends to the north of Barton Gate, to the west of the River Bray, between Withycombe Farm, West and South Swincombe Farms. The relict fields were probably part of an infield-outfield system where the outfield was usually an area of poorer grassland or moorland, and the infield was an area of intensly cultivated strip fields. The strip lynchets are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs and extend over an area measuring up to 1140 metres east to west and 925 metres north to south and form part of an extensive system of lynchets around the settlements and farms in Challacombe parish (see MMO1215). The system is centred at SS 6894 4164 and extends discontinuously over an area bounded by the following grid references: SS 6787 4147, SS 6847 4196, SS 6930 4227, SS6955 4200, SS 7919 4108. [6-9] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [10]

Sources/Archives (10)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. MAM 13/120 (May 1977).
  • <2> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS6841E.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 1 October 1993.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. SS6941/1,4 (10 January 1989), DAP 6687/03 and /08.
  • <5> Archive: Miller, A.. 1995. RCHME Aerial Photograph Primary Recording Project. 7 December 1995.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Winton, H.. 1999. RCHME/EH Aerial Photographers Comment. RCHME:Challacombe, West Exmoor, 20 December 1999.
  • <7> Monograph: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 2001. The Field Archaeology of Exmoor. English Heritage. 98-99.
  • <8>XY Archive: Winton, H.. 1999. RCHME: Challacombe Project, Devon. AF1301145. [Mapped features: #44188 ; #44189 ; #44190 ]
  • <9> Aerial photograph transcription: Winton, H.. 1999. Challacombe Project/Ink AP Transcription.
  • <10> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 909948, Extant 10 November 2021.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS64SE/89
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 17975
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20721
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SE44
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 909948



Grid reference Centred SS 687 416 (1680m by 1202m) (7 map features)
Map sheet SS64SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Related Articles (2)

Record last edited

Nov 10 2021 1:39PM


Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.