MDE11657 - Medieval or post-medival field system on Wallover Down (Monument)

Summary

An area of abandoned field boundaries covering some 15 hectares and probably representing several phases of enclosure was noted on aerial photographs. There are also traces of narrow ridge and furrow, and areas of irregular peat cutting.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

SS 6965 3919. Low banks forming old field boundaries south of goat combe. Their visibilty is good on the 1947 aerial photograph [1] and fair on 1977 aerial photograph [2]. [3] An area of abandoned field boundaries, covering some 15 hectares, is centred at SS 6960 3915 on the crest and on the north facing slopes of Wallover Down. The field system was recorded by [3], and a number of the boundaries are still depicted on Ordnance Survey 1:10000 and 1:2500 maps. They survive as earthen banks up to 0.5 metres high, delineating former fields and aiding drainage. At SS 6955 3930 are traces of narrow ridge and furrow on a roughly north to south alignment. At SS 6929 3907 a west to east boundary shown by [3] is overlain by an existing north to south hedge bank. This and the random appearance of some of the boundaries, may suggest that the system represents several phases of enclosure. At SS 6970 3912, on the crest of the west to east saddle of Wallover Down, is an area of irregular peat cutting, averaging some 0.4 metres in depth. [4] The field system described above is clearly visible on aerial photographs, although the peat cuttings are less obvious. [2,5,6] The area was subject to walkover survey in 2017. SS 69295 39008. Several low, straight, stony banks were noted to run northeast to southwest along the south side of Wallover Down. They measured 2 metres wide and 0.8 metres high. The banks were suggested to be late 19th Century relict field boundaries, with some shown on the 25 inch 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map (but not the Challacombe Tithe Map). SS 69819 39170. A relict field system on the south of Goat Combe covers an area some 250 metres northwest to southeast, 90 metres northeast to southwest, and is defined on its southern and eastern sides by a low bank and ditch. This is not shown on historic maps, and the presence of narrow ridge and furrow suggests the field system dates from the later medieval or earlier post-medieval periods, representing the piecemeal extension of enclosure and cultivation onto the edges of Common Land. SS 69880 39144. A subrectangular mound, 5.3 metres east to west by 4.5 metres north to south and 0.9 metres high, is situated at the edge of an area of disused turbary on the western edge of Shoulsbarrow Common. It may be the remains of a decayed peat stack, or simply an area of uncut peat. SS 69917 39111. An area of disused turbary is visible on the western edge of Shoulsbarrow Common as an area of subrectangular pits and hollows. A typical example is given as 9 metres north to south by 5.4 metres east to west, and 1 metre deep. SS 69735 39276. The field system on the south side of Goat Combe contains faint traces of ridge and furrow visible as slight earthworks. The ridges are 1.3 metres wide and 0.5 metres high, and the furrows are 1 metre wide and 0.5 metres deep. The ridge and furrow is associated with the relict field system, and dates from the late medieval or early post-medieval period. SS 69159 39086. A relict field system on Wallover Down covers an area 400 metres north to south and 240 metres east to west. The western boundary is formed by a substantial, flat topped bank, with ditches on both sides. The western ditch takes water south into Goat Combe but the eastern ditch is dry. The boundary is shown on 19th Century maps (1st Edition and Challacombe Tithe Map) and marks the western limit of cultivation of Wallover Barton Farm in the mid 19th Century. It appears to have fallen into disuse by around the mid 20th Century, as shown on the 1946-8 aerial photographs. SS 69889 39186. A small peaty mound on the western edge of Shoulsbarrow Common, 1.9 metres in diameter and 0.5 metres high, is in an area of disused turbary and may represent the remains of a decayed peat stack. SS 69256 39041. A low, stony bank, 1.2 metres wide by 0.7 metres high and 15 metres long, cuts through a post-medieval field boundary and may be part of the late 19th Century enclosure on Wallover Down. SS 69238 39009. An area of subrectangular pits and hollows represents disused turbary on Wallover Down. A typical example is 10 metres north to south by 2 metres east to west and 0.4 metres deep. It s relationship with an adjacent field boundary suggests it may date to the late medieval or early post-medieval period. [7-10] 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> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. CPE/UK/1980 4142 (April 1947).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Meridian Air Maps. 1977-1978. Infrared False Colour Aerial Photography. MAM/14/053 (May 1977).
  • <3> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS6939A.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 23 December 1992.
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF CPE/UK/2082 4101-02 (19 May 1947).
  • <6>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 63 NE. MD002188. [Mapped feature: #38786 ]
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889 (Surveyed 1888), Devon 10(8).
  • <8> Map: 1839. Challacombe Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <9> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography.
  • <10> Report: Riley, H.. 2018. Archaeological walkover survey: Wallover Down, South Regis Common, Castle Common and Fullaford Down. Hazel Riley. CWD17003, 17009-11, 17014, 17017-18, 17023-24; pp 6, 7-8, 9, 11.
  • <11> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 925451, Extant 1 November 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 6951 3914 (904m by 467m)
Map sheet SS63NE
Civil Parish CHALLACOMBE, NORTH DEVON, DEVON

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS63NE/41
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 17897
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20511
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO334
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 63 NE24
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 925451

Record last edited

Nov 1 2021 9:52PM

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