MDE11245 - Modern rectangular enclosure on Martinhoe Common (Monument)


A rectangular embanked and ditched enclosure, measuring 22.5 metres by 19.5 metres and with an internal building, is shown on the Ordnance Survey 25 inch map of 1904, but not on that of 1889. It is assumed to be a modern feature.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 6735 4846 A rectangular embanked ditched enclosure measuring internally about 22.5 metres by 19.5 metres (0.043 hectares internal area). It is situated at about 260 metres Ordnance Datum slightly below the crest of a spur on a gentle northeast facing slope with panoramic views in an area previously of moorland converted to pasture in 1945. [1] The enclosure is not shown on the 1840 Tithe Map [2] nor the 1889 Ordnance Survey map [3] but appears on the 1904 Ordnance Survey map [4] with a smaller rectangular extension some 14 metres to the southwest of which there is now no trace. The turf covered stony enclosure bank, 1.5 metres across its flat top and some 4 metres wide at its base, is from 0.4 metres to 0.7 metres high internally and from 0.5 metres to 1 metres high externally and has been robbed in places. There is no trace of an entrance. The external ditch, on average 2.5 metres wide and 0.2 metres deep, is less well preserved probably due to silting and ploughing. The interior overlies an angled linear feature 2.2 metres wide and 0.2 metres high. On the aerial photographs [5] it can be seen extending to the northwest and southeast but there is now no trace of it continuing beyond the enclosure on the ground. McDonnell [6] calls this a field drain, but it is hard to ascertain if it is a lynchet, a low bank, or a backfilled field drain. Set into the inner scarp of the southwestern, uphill side, of the enclosure bank are the remains of an apparent building stance, about 6.5 metres northwest to southeast by 2.5 metres. McDonnell [6] suggests this is probably a double stone feeding trough but it is cross hatched as a building on the Ordnance Survey map [4]. The outer scarp of the enclosure bank and the ditch do not continue across the southwestern side of this platform so, in the light of there being no trace of an entrance through the enclosure bank elsewhere, the platform may have been condstructed over an entrance. The bank appears to be unnecessarily massive for the size and type of enclosure. It does not appear to be a 'tree ring' type of enclosure but appears to be a modern construction although its purpose is not clear. Published Survey 1:2500 Accepted. [7] The enclosure described above is clearly visible on aerial photographs from 1946 onwards as a series of substantial earthworks, with an apparent entranceway on the southwest side. The function and purpose of this enclosure is not clear from aerial photographs; however, as stated above the enclosure is not shown on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1889 but is depicted on the 2nd Edition of 1904. It is likely to have been constructed around this time. [8-10] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [11]

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Monograph: Bridle, H.. 1991. Woody Bay. Finial Publishing. 86.
  • <2> Map: 1842. Martinhoe Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. Devon 2(15).
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1904, Devon 2(15).
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Aerial photograph reference number . RAF 106G/UK1655 (11 July 1946) 3159-60..
  • <6> Archive: Devon County Council. Various. Devon SMR / HER records / parish files - Exmoor records. R McDonnell, SMR SS 64 NE 53, 31 August 1982.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 7 June 1993.
  • <8> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1655 3160 (11 July 1946).
  • <9> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. MAL 76067 123 (4 August 1976).
  • <10>XY Archive: Exmoor National Park National Mapping Programme: SS 64 NE. MD002172. [Mapped feature: #42745 ]
  • <11> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 915627, Extant 18 October 2021.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS64NE/53
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 17939
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20553
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO323
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 NE69
  • National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 915627



Grid reference Centred SS 6735 4845 (52m by 55m) Aerial survey
Map sheet SS64NE

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Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Oct 18 2021 10:58AM


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