MDE11944 - Possible prehistoric or medieval field system around Wellfield (Monument)


A field system has been noted on aerial photographs as a series of low banks. It is similar to other systems that have been suggested to have a medieval date but its form suggests it may be prehistoric or Romano-British.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

A field system is visible on aerial photographs. Low banks forming extensive area of rectangular fields on hillside to the north of the East Lyn River. [1-3] The field system described by McDonnell [1] is centred at SS 7795 4865 and extends over 18 hectares. The fields have been improved and nothing is visible on the ground. Ashton, which lies to the east was, in the 17th Century, three farms [4]. The rectangularity and cohesion of the features visible on aerial photographs may suggest that the field system has an earlier date, with parallels in the prehistoric period. [5] A bank defined field system on Hall Hill is visible as earthworks on aerial photographs taken prior to the 1970s, approximately 500 metres to the west of Ashton at circa SS 778 486, Countisbury parish. The field system extends to the northwest towards Kipscombe Hill and, including a small area of earthworks visible on the north side of the A39 at circa SS 7733 4914, covers an area of almost 33 hectares. The form of the earthworks is similar in appearance to those nearby at Old Burrow Hill, Cosgate Hill and Countisbury Common, interpreted as probably of medieval date (MDE11951 and MDE12504), but the organisation of the field system and relatively small size and square or rectilinear shape of some of the enclosures is different in character, more reminiscent of field systems thought to originate in the later prehistoric or Romano-British. Ridge and furrow may be visible in some of these smaller fields, possibly crossing and therefore postdating some of the boundaries. By 1970 all the earthworks have been damaged by ploughing, but continue to be visible as soilmarks and cropmarks. [6-8] SS 780 485. Field system visible on aerial photographs. [9,10] 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 (10)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK1655 3141-2 (F20) (11 July 1946).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Meridian Air Maps. 1977-1978. Infrared False Colour Aerial Photography. 13/030 (May 1977).
  • <3> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS7748a, SS7848a.
  • <4> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Information from occupier, Ashton Farm.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 25 November 1993.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 540/853 (F20) 4012-4014 (29 August 1952).
  • <8> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/70064 32-33 (3 May 1970).
  • <9> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. HSL/UK/71/178, run 79/9288 (August-September 1971), County Hall, Taunton.
  • <10>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 NE. MD002168. [Mapped feature: #42816 ]
  • <11> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1002087, Extant 6 December 2021.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS74NE/506
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 667
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20032
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO451
  • Local Heritage List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 NE37
  • National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1002087



Grid reference Centred SS 2776 1488 (1264m by 1027m) With reference to SEM7406
Map sheet SS21SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Mar 21 2024 12:30PM


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