MDE8277 - 19th Century enclosure bank southeast of Little Hangman (Monument)


The remains of an enclosure bank is visible as a turf covered earthwork measuring 2.5 metres wide and a maximum of 1 metre high. A hollow way to the west merges with it. It may be evidence of late medieval cultivation by John Orchard.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 5855 4801. A turf bank formed with the steeper scarp and ditch on the inner, south and east, side. The bank is 2.5 metres wide and about 1 metre in maximum height from the bottom of the shallow ditch which is about 0.2 metres deep and 1.2 metres wide. It appears to be an original laying out or marker bank for the early 19th Century enclosures however when constructed the enclosure wall has cut the corner to the east avoiding this bank. There is a hollow way about 4 metres wide to the west of the enclosure wall and the bank merges with this at its north and south ends. The bank is shown on an aerial photograph taken in 1946. [1,2] A post-medieval field boundary is visible on aerial photographs [2,3] as an earthwork to the south east of Little Hangman Cliff, Combe Martin. The boundary runs in an east to west direction for approximately 60 metres, before turning approximately 90 degrees and running north south for 95 metres. The southern end of the boundary meets the existing 19th Century enclosure boundaries in this area. The hollow way mentioned by the authority above is not visible on aerial photographs. The boundary is not shown on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map [4], suggesting that it was not in use at this point. [5] A former post medieval or modern track and former field boundary bank running southeast to northwest from the northern edge of the fields. The 2.2 metre wide track is visible for 50 metres and the bank is 2 metres wide by 0.5 metres to 1.2 metres high. [6] The bank was surveyed in 2009 by English Heritage. The report describes the site as an area of relict field system, defined by an earthen bank 2.5 metres wide and 0.4 metres wide. The relict fields are overlain by enclosed agricultural land, part of West Challacombe, which was well established by the end of the 18th Century. The field system could date to the cultivation of Little Hangman by John Orchard of West Challacombe in the late medieval period. [7,8] 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 (9)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF 106G/UK/1655 3176-7 (11 July 1946).
  • <2> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 30 April 1993.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/89114 653 (4 May 1989).
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.
  • <5>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 54 NE. MD002165. [Mapped feature: #38625 ]
  • <6> Report: Berry, N.. 2002. Archaeological and Historic Landscape Survey of West Challacombe Farm, Combe Martin, Devon. 100902.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Sinton, P, Riley, H. and Pullen, R.. 2009. Enclosure and platforms on Little Hangman hill, Combe Martin, Devon. 1:500.
  • <8> Report: Riley, H.. 2016. Little Hangman and Challacombe Common, Exmoor National Park: Two possible earlier Neolithic enclosures on western Exmoor. 15.
  • <9> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 616361, Extant 27 October 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 5857 4796 (85m by 122m) Aerial survey
Map sheet SS54NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (4)

External Links (3)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 50085
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 65789
  • Devon SMR: SS54NE/136
  • Devon SMR: SS54NE/174
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE21481
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE21791
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO265
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 54 NE33
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • National Trust HER Record: MNA148432
  • National Trust HER Record: MNA148434
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 616361
  • Shoreline Management Plan 2 (20-50)
  • Shoreline Management Plan 2 (50-100)

Record last edited

Oct 27 2021 1:15PM


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