MDE9015 - Post-medieval inclosure allotment on Holdstone Down (Monument)


A sub-divided enclosure with a substantial building platform corresponds with one of the 1870s inclosure allotments.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

Low banks forming a linear group of small rectangular fields or allotments on the north side of Holdstone Down were noted on aerial photographs taken in 1946 and 1978. [1-3] This area was divided up for housebuilding by a speculative developer in late 19th Century. Some of the 'boundary stones' shown on the 6 inch Ordnance Survey map also date from this episode. [4,5] A series of boundary stones subdivide Holdstone Down and are marked on on the Ordnance Survey 6 inch 1963 and 1905 maps. [6,7] A plot, corresponding to one of the 1870s Inclosure strips, exists on the north side of Holdstone Down at SS 6204 4794. It is defined by a combination of stony and earthen banks and contains elaborate platforms and low walling. In plan it represents a ladder, with parallel sides, averaging 19 metres apart, being formed by low banks 0.4 metres high and 1.2 metres wide and stretching for some 160 metres. They correspond with the position of the sides of one of the Inclosure strips (MDE8959). The "rungs" of the ladder are a series of internal divisions, which are marked either by low stony banks or by terrace scarps. The strip is dominated by the substantial remains of an earthwork platform measuring 19 metres by 10 metres. It is defined by scarps on the upslope and downslope side up to 2 metres high. The platform is reached from the downslope side by a central break in the terrace scarp which may have accommodated a flight of steps. On the platform are low walls 0.5 metres high and 0.4 metres wide which define two bays on either side of the central access hollow. The strip was recorded in Devon County Council's SMR as an enclosure (see [1-7] above). It is certainly contemporary with or later than the Inclosure of Holdstone Down in the 1870s, but its exact date and function are not known. However, it is clear that at the time of Parliamentary Unclosure the individual concerned chose to buy this particular strip, rather than simply accepting the rights to it. It is also possible that it is associated with the `Estate' phase of activity on the Down (MDE8962), and might mark an attempt to occupy the "allotments" or strips created at Inclosure. A second enclosure of similar type exists on the southwestern slopes of the Down (MDE9014). Surveyed at 1:1000 scale. [8-10] A large rectangular enclosure is visible on aerial photographs as a series of structures and earthworks resembling a ladder on the northeast side of Holdstone Down. Centred at approximately SS 6199 4778, the enclosure measures some 160 metres long by 20 metres wide, and is aligned northeast to southwest. The interior of the enclosure is divided by numerous low banks and walls, and several of the internal sections of the "ladder" appear to be terraced into the slope. The enclosure is not depicted on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map. [11-13] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [14]

Sources/Archives (14)

  • <1> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS6247a.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF/106G/UK/1655.3182 (July 1946).
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. MAM/2655 (June 1978).
  • <4> Report: The National Trust. 1984. Holdstone Down, Devon. 6.
  • <5> Leaflet: National Trust. 1984. Guide to Heddon Valley and Woody Bay.
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1892-1906. County Series, 2nd Edition 6 Inch Map. 1:10560.
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1963. 6 Inch Map: 1963.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 9 July 1993.
  • <9> Map: 1870. Inclosure map for Combe Martin Parish.
  • <10> Technical drawing: Sainsbury, I. and Wilson-North, R.. 1993. Holdstone Down/ink survey . Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <11> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/72065 049-050 (15 April 1972).
  • <12> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.
  • <13> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 64 NW. MD002171.
  • <14> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 873224, Extant 8 November 2021.

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR (Devonshire): SS64NW/25
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 17907
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 60599
  • Devon SMR: SS64NW/25/4
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20521
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE21665
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO293
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 NW46
  • National Park
  • National Trust HER Record: MNA107753
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 873224



Grid reference Centred SS 6209 4789 (118m by 172m)
Map sheet SS64NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Nov 8 2021 5:09PM


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