MDE8287 - Possible 19th Century mining remains east of Little Hangman (Monument)


Openworks visible as two linear trenches apparently formed by the excavation of a series of separate circular pits. They were probably trial trenches for iron or manganese associated with the mid 19th Century Girt Down Mine sett.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 5893 4805.A linear trench with a circular hollow at east end.Shown, but not annotated, on the 1890 Ordnance Survey map [1]. This linear trench, or openwork lies across a north facing slope. The gulley, or trench exposed is about 82 metres long east to west, 10 metres wide and 2 metres deep and it expands slightly at its east end. Here, some 10 metres away, is a separate trial pit about 10 metres diameter and 1.5 metres deep. Parallel and some 30 metres down the slope to the north at SS 5830 4808 is a similar trench, or series of about six conjoined hollows, not shown by the Ordnance Survey map. It is about 76 metres long, 10 metres wide and 1.5 metres deep. The openworks appear to be as a series of separate circular pits which, if the prospecting seems worthwhile, are then expanded along the slope as the mineral is exploited, eventually connecting to form a trench. These individual pits are better seen in the northern trench where they have not been completely cut through to form a trench, suggesting that the mineral was not sufficient to continue. Claughton [2] suggests these openworks are trial or costean trenches probably for iron/manganese and associated with the mid 19th Century Girt Down Mine sett. [3] Several extractive pits, known locally as openworks, are visible on aerial photographs as linear earthworks to the east of Little Hangman cliff, Combe Martin. [4,5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889, Devon 1(16).
  • <2> Unpublished document: Claughton, P.. 22/04/1993. Letter and Maps to Royal Comission on the Historical Monuments of England.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 16 May 1993.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/89114 653 (4 May 1989).
  • <5> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 54 NE. MD002165.



Grid reference Centred SS 5893 4806 (116m by 72m) (Aerial survey)
Map sheet SS54NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (3)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 50075
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 50079
  • Devon SMR: SS54NE/121/3
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE21471
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO270
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 54 NE43
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park Authority
  • National Trust HER Record: MNA148428
  • National Trust HER Record: MNA148429
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 616415

Record last edited

Aug 17 2020 12:06PM


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