MDE20539 - Medieval or post-medieval enclosure west of Higher Mannacott (Monument)


A curving bank was noted cutting across a projecting hillspur. Further examination of aerial photographs has suggested this may be an enclosure of medieval or post-medieval date, possibly a tree ring or stock enclosure, or may be a field system.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A fairly substantial curving bank to the east of Mill Cliff Wood was noted on aerial photographs, centred at SS 6587 4794. [1,2] A curving bank of post-medieval origin 3 metres wide and up to 1 metre high. Located on the downhill western side, it cuts across a projecting hillspur in an area of improved pasture which is now reverting to bracken and furze. No survey action. [3] An enclosure, possibly dating to the medieval or post-medieval period, is visible on aerial photographs as a curved bank to the east of Mill Cliff Wood. The enclosure, which is roughly circular and aligned east to west, is situated on a east projecting hillspur and appears to enclose the summit of this hillspur. The curved bank described above is the western end of the enclosure, which on aerial photographs can be seen to continue around to the east meeting in a point at SS 6592 4796. The enclosure measures approximately 140 metres across and encloses an area of 0.7 hectares. The unusual irregular shape of the enclosure suggests it may be a tree ring or stock enclosure. It is not depicted on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map, suggesting that it was abandoned prior to this date. [4-6] The Devon HER recorded a separate record (UID SS64NE/40 or 17926) for a separate group of regular banks forming incomplete fields at SS 659 478, recorded by McDonnell from aerial photographs. The photograph transcription shows these are sited just to the east of the bank mentioned above, apparently joining with it at their northernmost ends [1]. During the RCHME survey visit, Sainsbury stated "SS 6604 4792. This area is improved pasture on a NE projecting hillspur now partly covered with scrub and bracken. There are no traces of these banks apart from the bank [that recorded above] some 200 metres to the west. There is also no evidence of a field system" [3]. The aerial transcription of this field system [2] places it just to the east of the bank mentioned above, and is in the same location and approximate shape transcribed by the NMP for the enclosure mentioned above [6]. It therefore appears that the "field system" may be the same feature as the enclosure. It is not therefore clear if the original curving bank transcribed by McDonnell has been incorporated by the NMP into the "enclosure" or if this is a separate feature. [2,6,7] Not depicted on Martinhoe Tithe Map [8] but appears from the Lidar [9] to be a continuation of the field system to the east and presumably went out of use before the mid 19th century.

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF/106G/UK/1655.3188-89 (July 1946).
  • <2> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS6547D.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 8 June 1993.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1501 4369-70 (13 May 1946).
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1896. County Series, First Edition 6 Inch Map. 1:10560. 1889.
  • <6>XY Archive: Exmoor National Park National Mapping Programme: SS 64 NE. MD002172. [Mapped feature: #46775 ]
  • <7> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 28 October 2020.
  • <8> Map: 1842. Martinhoe Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <9> Cartographic materials: Environment Agency. 2010. LiDAR (DTM or DSM).



Grid reference Centred SS 6599 4790 (191m by 149m) With reference to SEM7406, SS6547D
Map sheet SS64NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 17925
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 17926
  • Devon SMR: SS64NE/39
  • Devon SMR: SS64NE/40
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE11167
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE11235
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20540
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO314
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 NE20
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 NE63
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 914934
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 915555

Record last edited

Aug 16 2021 5:03PM


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