MDE11951 - Post-medieval field system on Cosgate Hill and Old Barrow Hill (Monument)


A post-medieval field system is visible as earthwork banks on aerial photographs.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

An area of post-medieval field system was recorded using aerial photographs and covers Cosgate Hill ( centred SS 7907 48770), Hall Hill (centred SS 7782 4867) and Old Burrow (centred SS 7871 4936). The field system on Cosgate Hill comprises spread, turf covered stony banks 1 metre in width and up to 0.4 metres in height; most of the banks are obscured by heather and gorse. There is no indication of ridging within the banks and a packhorse way runs through the field system. Only on Hall Hill are there signs of ridging but this crosses some of the field banks and may therefore be a later phase of agricultural activity. The field systems on Hall Hill and Old Burrow sit within an area of modern intake and have been almost obliteraded by ploughing. [1] These features were recorded as part of an archaeological survey of the Cosgate Hill area. The survey was undertaken by the Exeter office of English Heritage at the request of the Exmoor National Park Authority. A report was compiled as part of the survey work. [2] A field system of probable post-medieval date is visible on aerial photographs as earthwork banks covering Cosgate Hill and Old Burrow Hill, Countisbury parish. The field systems are located as described above by [1], but only those features on Cosgate Hill and Old Burrow Hill are described below, the Hall Hill field system being of slightly different character and recorded in more detail in MDE11944. In addition, during the course of the National Mapping Programme survey some of the boundaries identified in [2] have proved to be trackways and more detail has been added to the field systems. The enclosure on Cosgate Hill and Old Burrow Hill is clearly piecemeal in nature but is defined by two forms of intake. On the steeper slopes, the fields are narrow and rectilinear, aligned on the gradient, as at SS 788 487, SS 789 492, SS 786 495 and SS 793 484 to the southwest of Cosgate Feet or County Gate. Towards the hill tops on the gentler slopes, larger enclosures are laid out, but are less regular in form and incrementally abut one another, as at SS 788 492, SS 785 493 and SS 790 488. It would also appear that one such enclosure incorporated part of the Old Burrow Fort rampart into its boundary (MDE1223). Traces of ridge and furrow and a possible clearance cairn are also apparent in the fields to the northeast of Old Burrow Hill, centred on SS 790 494. The packhorse way on Cosgate Hill described by [1] is partly defined by field boundaries and a track continues in use in this area today, although on a slightly different alignment. [3-9] (SS7848b) Low banks forming a system of rectangular fields on the southwest side of Cosgate Hill. Their visibility is good on the 1947 aerial photograph [12] and fair on the 1977 aerial photograph [13]. (SS7849a) Low banks on old burrow hill forming irregular and incomplete fields Their visibility is good on both [12] and [13]. [11-14] A series of parallel boundaries are recorded by Mcdonnell [11] at SS 7860 4955. They lie on north facing slopes on the northern side of Old Barrow Hill and run across the contour. The area of the Grid Reference cited is dense coniferous plantation and was not investigated. At SS 7900 4921 are several parallel boundaries on southeast facing slopes which may be part of the same system. [15]

Sources/Archives (15)

  • <1> Unpublished document: English Heritage Field Investigators Comments. E Jamieson, 2002.
  • <2> Report: Jamieson, E.. 2002. Cosgate Hill, Countisbury, Devon.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1655 3139-40 (F20) (11 July 1946).
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. CUCAP (AW71 & 73) (29 June 1948).
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 540/910 (F20) 4050-4052 (17 October 1952).
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. CUCAP (BAE 97-98) (26 Novmeber 1969).
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/72065 111-112 (15 April 1972).
  • <8> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/74179 009-010 (18 July 1974).
  • <9> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 NE. MD002168.
  • <10> Archive: Cosgate Hill, Countisbury. AF00030.
  • <11> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS7848b; SS7849a.
  • <12> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. raf/cpe/uk/1980.4039 (April 1947).
  • <13> Aerial photograph: Meridian Air Maps. 1977-1978. Infrared False Colour Aerial Photography. mam/13/030 & 13/032 (May 1977).
  • <14> Aerial photograph: Aerial photograph reference number . ss 7948;sf 1459/411 (1 March 1979).
  • <15> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 25 November 1993.



Grid reference Centred SS 7889 4900 (1564m by 1393m) (Aerial survey)
Map sheet SS74NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 18150
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 18151
  • Devon SMR: SS74NE/563
  • Devon SMR: SS74NE/564
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20790
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20791
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO1239
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 NE49
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1002173
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1357343

Record last edited

Jan 20 2021 11:09AM


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