MDE20820 - Medieval field system on Cheriton Ridge (Monument)


A substantial medieval or post medieval field system is visible as a series of earthworks on the west facing slopes above Hoaroak Water.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Low banks forming old field boundaries on west side of Cheriton Ridge. Their visibility is good on the 1947 and 1977 aerial photographs. A further bank centred at SS 7465 4332 is visible on an aerial photograph from 1979. [1-4] A substantial medieval or post-medieval field system is visible as a series of earthworks on the west facing slopes above Hoaroak Water, Lynton and Lynmouth. Centred at approximately SS 745 435, the banks extend over an area of approximately 22 hectares. The system is aligned approximately east to west on the slopes above Hoaroak Water. It may have continued into the flatter area of Cheriton Ridge, but there is no evidence for this. The banks form fairly regular, rectangular and sub rectangular enclosures. In places, the banks have been eroded by the flow of water leaving gullies and ditches. The field system is not depicted on the 1st Editon Ordnance Survey map, suggesting it had been abandoned some time prior to the publication in 1889. It seems likely that this was part of a medieval or early post-medieval attempt to enclose the moor which was unsuccessful. [5-8] A regular block of four fields, 150 to 200 metres square, with a rectangular enclosure 150 metres by 50 metres on the east side, lies to the south of the deserted medieval settlement on the west side of Cheriton Ridge. The field boundaries are banks, 1.5 to 2 metres wide and no more than 0.5 metres high, often with a ditch, 1 metre wide and 0.5 metres deep on the outer side. The banks are quite spread, a result of their age, but also because of later ploughing. This is evident on the Lidar image of the area and the 2010 aerial photographs and probably represents periodic cultivation of an arable crop – generally rye – in the 16th to 18th Centuries AD. [9] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [10]

Sources/Archives (10)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Aerial photograph reference number . NMR SS7443: SF 1459/383 (1 March 1979).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF/CPE/UK/1980.3079 (April 1947).
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Meridian Air Maps. 1977-1978. Infrared False Colour Aerial Photography. MAM/13/072 (May 1977).
  • <4> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS7443a.
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1501 3220-21 (13 May 1946).
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 540/931 4124-25 (8 November 1952).
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.
  • <8>XY Archive: English Heritage. 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182. [Mapped feature: #38831 ]
  • <9> Report: Riley, H.. 2013. Hoaroak Valley: Historic landscape survey and analysis. 33.
  • <10> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1471041, Extant 19 January 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 18180
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/96
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO2200
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW231
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1471041



Grid reference Centred SS 7457 4354 (514m by 765m) Estimated from sources
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Jan 19 2022 10:46AM


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