MDE12432 - North Lyshwell deserted farmstead (Monument)


The deserted farmstead of North Lyshwell is known from documentary sources and is visible as earthworks. A rectangular enclosure contains the earthwork remains of a domestic building.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

The deserted farmstead of North Lyshwell is centred at SS 8376 3086. North Lyshwell is first mentioned in 1690 and in 1763 a messuage and lands are recorded there. In 1775 it is referred to as a tenement. By 1840 the field is shown as now and called North Lyshwell. The farmstead is not shown on the Molland Tithe Map [1]. On the southern side of the Danes Brook is a rectangular field called North Lyshwell (Tithe [1] - and still known as such locally). It extends to some 12 hectares. At the west end of the field is a terraced way which gives access to the earthwork remains of the farmstead. This comprises a roughly rectangular enclosure measuring some 30 metres by 18 metres and terraced into the hillside on its upper side by 2.2 metres. This is a rectangular two celled structure, measuring 14 metres by 6 metres defined by earth and stone banks 0.4 metres high. The western end contains much stone rubble which suggests the presence of a stone chimney in the gable end. The internal division is marked by a length of wall facing and a change in level of 0.4 metres - the eastern end being the lower. Access to the eastern end was through an entrance on the northern side, marked by a gap 1.3 metres wide in the defining bank. There may have been a second entrance on the southern side, but it is possible this part of the building has been damaged by robbing and by modern farm access across the enclosure. At the east end of the enclosure or yard is a pen, defined by banks 0.6 metres high. It is roughly ovoid in shape, measuring 16 metres by 7 metres and was reached by an entrance at its south west corner. Two slight platforms mark the sites of outbuildings, the first lies adjacent to the pen on its eastern side. It is 5 metres by 2.5 metres. The second lies on the crest of the terrace scarp to the south of the farmhouse. It comprises a slight platform measuring 6.5 metres by 5.5 metres and defined by a bank on the eastern side and by a cut scarp in the natural slope on the south. Both platforms were probably occupied by pitbuildings or sheds constructed from timber or cob. The farmstead was surveyed at 1:500 scale. Full level 3 report and landscape analysis in archive. A 1:2500 scale level 3 photogrammetric survey was carried out on the field known as Wester Shircombe (approximately 17 hectares), situated on the southern edge of Exmoor. The site comprises approximate 17 hectares situated on a south facing slope on the north side of the Dane Brook. The survey was carried out on behalf of the RCHME Exeter Field Office by the RCHME Air Photography Unit based in Swindon. The survey was required to aid further evaluation and field work. Copies of the plan, digital files and accompanying report are held by the RCHME. [1-9] The deserted farmstead of North Lyshwell is clearly visible as earthworks on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards, centred on circa SS 8376 3085, and with the probably associated field system immediately to the east, have been transcribed as part of the Exmoor National Mapping Programme survey at a 1:2500 scale. The farmstead appears to be connected to the field system by a trackway defined by the banks of fields to the north and south. [10-15] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [16]

Sources/Archives (16)

  • <1> Map: 1841. Molland Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <2> Technical drawing: Wilson-North, R.. 1995. North Lyshwell/ink survey . 1:500. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <3> Report: Wilson-North, R.. 1996. Lyshwell and Shircombe: Deserted Farmsteads and Field Systems . RCHME.
  • <4> Aerial photograph transcription: Small, F.. 1995. Wester Shircombe/ink AP transcription . 1:2500. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <5> Aerial photograph transcription: Small, F.. 1995. Wester Shircombe/pencil AP transcription . 1:2500. Permatrace. Pencil.
  • <6> Report: Small, F.. 1995. Wester Shircombe: An archaeological survey. Air photographic transcription and analysis. RCHME.
  • <7> Archive: Miller, A. and Small, F.. 1995. RCHME: Wester Shircombe Project, Somerset.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 20 July 1995.
  • <9> Report: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1995. Survey of North Lyshwell.
  • <10> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS/8330/28-31 23426/05-8 (1 March 2004).
  • <11> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS/8330/10-11 18278/10-11 (10 February 1999).
  • <12> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 540/860 (F20) 4123-4 (2 September 1952).
  • <13> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 15/04/1946. RAF/106G/UK. 1420 (F20) 3457-8 (15 April 1946).
  • <14> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 15/04/1946. RAF/106G/UK. 1420/3290.
  • <15> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 SW. MD002197.
  • <16> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1031567, Extant 2 February 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 54019
  • Devon SMR: SS83SW/1/1
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE21554
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO470
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 SW30
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1031567



Grid reference Centred SS 8376 3085 (48m by 38m)
Map sheet SS83SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Related Articles (1)

Record last edited

Feb 2 2022 12:58PM


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