MDE21804 - Medieval field system at West Lyn Farm (Monument)


Extensive area of former medieval strip fields suggesting the area consisted of many more homesteads at one time. The surviving pattern of hedgerows on the farm preserves the main infield boundary and northern strips' outline.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

The remains of a very extensive strip field system of medieval date are clearly visible on aerial photographs of West Lyn as levelled earthworks centred approximately on SS 7227 4828. Visible only in low light and on infrared aerial photography, the sinuous and curvilinear earthworks extend in an arc of almost 30 hectares from the southwest of Manor Farm to the northeast of West Lyn Farm. The strip fields may have formed the cultivated infields of one or more small hamlets or townships around West Lyn during the medieval and earlier post-medieval period. This suggestion may be supported by the place name `North Town' on the First Edition Ordnance Survey map, to the north of West Lyn Farm. [1] It is clear that the modern field system has fossilised elements of the curved medieval field pattern. However, we can be confident that the field system was enclosed into the form visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s by the 19th century, when the gutters of catchwater water meadows were cut through many of the relict boundary banks. Nonetheless, the process of field boundary removal continued in the years following the Second World War. [2-6] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [7]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Report: Berry, N.. 2003. Archaeological and Historic Landscape Survey of West Lyn Farm, Lynton, Devon. National Trust, The.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK 1980. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. 3086. 4050-1 (11 April 1947).
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 540/910 (F20) 4021-2 (17 October 1952).
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. ENPA CUCAP (Zki-FD 51-52) (2 November 1995).
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/95026 021-22 (12 March 1995).
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.
  • <7>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 NW. MD002173. [Mapped features: #47771 ; #47772 ; #47773 ; #47774 ; #47775 ; #47776 ; #47777 ]
  • <8> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1465970, Extant 10 January 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 7222 4835 (1037m by 695m) (7 map features)
Map sheet SS74NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Related Articles (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 66871
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 66877
  • Devon SMR: SS74NW/25/1
  • Devon SMR: SS74NW/25/7
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE21810
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO1985
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 NW190
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1465970

Record last edited

Jan 11 2022 9:26AM


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