MEM15419 - Post-medieval charcoal burning platform in Horner Wood (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
One of numerous charcoal burning platforms on the north facing upper slopes of Cloutsham Ball, overlooking Horner Water. The platform measures approximately 13 metres by 10 metres, and was excavated in 2005 as part of the Exmoor Iron project. Two phases of charcoal production were identified, a possible break in use or recutting of the platform indicated by a layer of stony hillwash material containing no charcoal. No diagnostic dating finds were recovered but a substantial charcoal sample was collected with short-lived examples selected for radiocabon dating, although this remains to be carried out. However, the presence of a veteran pollarded oak towards the rear of the platform is thought to indicate a date prior to the 16th Century.  It is possible charcoal from this platform was used at the Iron Mill immediately to the north but the charcoal assemblage retrieved fom that site was of slightly different composition.  The oak to the rear of the platform was one of 10 trees woodcore sampled with the intention of assessing their age, their role to surrounding woodland management and whether they may have been contemporary with the iron working complex to the north in Horner Wood. Unfortunately the cores of most had suffered rot and although it was not possible to obtain dates prior to the 19th Century, or match the pollard wood structures to that of roundwood from charcoal from the iron mill, the age of the pollards is thought to exceed 400 years. 
- <1> SEM7251 Report: Gale, R.. 2001. Horner Wood, Exmoor: The Analysis of Charcoal Fuel Deposits from a 16th-17th Iron-Working Mill. P. 8-9.
- <2> SEM7257 Report: Juleff, G. + Bray, L.. 2007. Exmoor Iron: An Exploration of the Impact of Past Iron Production on the Environmental and Cultural Landscapes of Greater Exmoor: Post-Excavation Assessment. P.17-18; 74; 157-9; 171-2; 180-181.
- <3> SEM7254 Report: Gale, R.. 2006. Exmoor Iron-Working Project: Horner Wood Charcoal Platform, 2005 - Charcoal Analysis.
- <4> SEM7250 Report: Gale, R. + Groves, C.. 2003. Horner Wood: Wood-Cores from Selected Oak (Pollards and Maidens) and Birch Trees at Cloutsham Ball. P.6.
|Grid reference||SS 895 435 (point) (Approximate)|
|Civil Parish||LUCCOMBE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (1)
Related Events/Activities (1)
External Links (0)
- National Park: Exmoor National Park
Record last edited
Aug 27 2014 10:01AM
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