MDE20870 - Badgworthy Cottage, Badgworthy Lees (Monument)


Constructed for Frederic Knight in 1860 as a shepherd's cottage to manage the Badgworthy Herding, and inhabited until 1930. It was destroyed by artillery fire from the Exmoor Firing Range during practice firing during the Second World War.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Badgworthy Cottage was constructed for Frederic Knight in 1860 as a shepherd's cottage from which to manage the Badgworthy Herding, and was inhabited until 1930. Centred at SS 7900 4445, the remains are now visible as a rectangular heap of rubble measuring 17 metres by 13 metres [1,2]. To the east of the cottage itself the remains of a yard measuring 40 metres long by 20 metres wide can be seen, apparently surrounded by a stone-built wall. According to the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map [3], the cottage was originally constructed along a similar plan to the other Knight farms on Exmoor, such as Warren Farm, Larkbarrow etc, and featured a dwelling and outbuildings around a small central courtyard, with two larger yards to the east and north. Documentary sources record that the majority of the cottage was constructed with stone robbed from the nearby deserted medieval settlement of Badgworthy. The cottage was destroyed by artillery fire from the Exmoor Firing Range during practice firing by the US Army during the Second World War, to such an extent that it was considered unsafe and was finally demolished by explosives. Several shell craters can be seen around the cottage. Previously the cottage has been recorded as part of the deserted medieval settlement of Badgworthy, but as it is clearly not part of the settlement it has now been recorded separately. [1-5] Built in the 1860s by Frederick Knight as a shepherd's dwelling, Badgworthy Cottage was occupied until the 1930's. It fell within the area of the Exmoor Firing Ranges (see MSO7776), and was demolished by heavy artillery shells during practice firing by the US Army [4] The site is now marked by a rectangular heap of rubble measuring 17 metres by 13 metres and up to 2 metres high. The rubble is now grassed over, and in places consists of collapsed sections of walling still held together by mortar. Due to dense bracken, no survey action was possible on this complex. It has, therefore, been recomended for large-scale survey when appropriate. [6] The area was previously known as Bickworthy. In Domesday it was Bicheordin. In 1086 Bickworthy and La Fenne were held by Fulcoid under William Capra. They had been a waste land in Saxon times and had recently been brought into cultivation by Fulcoid. Early descents given. [7] The stone for this cottage was taken from the deserted medieval village nearby (MDE1258). It was inhabited until 1930. [8] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [9]

Sources/Archives (10)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF 106G/UK/1655 4077-78 (11 July 1946).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 540/931 4069-70 (8 November 1952).
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.
  • <4> Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. P. 115, 226-7, 236-7, 255.
  • <5> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SE. MD002183.
  • <6> Report: Wilson-North, R.. 1996. Badgworthy Deserted Medieval Settlement. RCHME Exeter.
  • <7> Monograph: Reichel, O. J.. 1928-1938. Hundreds of Devon: The Hundred of Shirwell in Early Times. 447,466,476,486,489,492.
  • <8> Leaflet: 2013. Badgworthy, Exmoor: Exmoor moorland archaeology walks series. Exmoor National Park Authority.
  • <9> Photograph: Unknown. Unknown. Shepherd's Cottage, Doone Valley. Sepia. Printout.
  • <10> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1475992, Extant 16 June 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 7901 4445 (74m by 34m) Aerial survey
Map sheet SS74SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (5)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 19086
  • Devon SMR: SS74SE/35
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO2371
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE220
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1475992

Record last edited

Jun 16 2021 4:52PM


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