MEM22499 - Possible post-medieval field boundaries on Spooners and Deer Park (Monument)

Summary

A linear feature consisting of ditch with bank may represent a relict field boundary of post-medieval date. Its location running along the contour may suggest a water management function.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

As part of the Exmoor Mires Project, South West Archaeology were contracted to undertake a non-intrustive walkover survey of the proposed mire restoration area on Spooners. A substantial relict post-medieval hedgebank c. 400 metres long was noted. This follows the contour of the slope, extending from Deerpark where it is much less substantial. The feature is 3 metres wide at its base, tapering to a flat 2 metre wide summit up to 1.6 metres high (which is heavily eroded in places). On the upslope side is a 2 metre wide wet ditch. The feature terminates at the head of the combe. [1] The Historic Environment Officer for the Exmoor Mires Project undertook a non-intrustive walkover survey of the proposed mire restoration area on Spooners, which included this site. A linear feature was seen, consisting of ditch with bank. It measures c. 400 metres long and stands up to 1.6 metres high. The bank is 3 metres wide at its base, narrowing to a 2 metre wide flat top with a 2 metre wide ditch on its upslope side. The feature may be a relict field boundary of post-medieval date, although its course along the contour may suggest a water management function. [2] A relict hedgebank was noted during a non-intrustive walkover survey of the proposed mire restoration area on Deer Park, undertaken by South West Archaeology as part of the Exmoor Mires Project. This was seen to be following the contour around the southern and northern sides of the combe. The southern side is relatively slight at the southwestern end (it is visible as no more than a ditch with a slight downslope bank) but grows in size at the eastern end, with an infilled ditch 2 metres wide and a downslope scarp up to 1 metre high. The southern hedgebank continues to the east into the adjacent Spooners site as recorded above, where it features a built hedgebank, which would suggest it predates the division of the moor. The northern hedgebank appears to form a natural extension of an extant curving hedgebank located in the northeast corner of Deer Park. The most substantial remains of this feature are seen at the northeastern end, as a low bank around 2 metres across and 0.8 metres high, with an upslope ditch or perhaps hollow way 3 metres across. In contrast, the southwestern end appears as no more than a terrace in the slope. [3] The Historic Environment Officer for the Exmoor Mires Project undertook a non-intrustive walkover survey of the proposed mire restoration area on Deer Park, which included this site. Noted was a continuation of the relict field bank noted above on Spooners to the east; this feature appears to blend into the extant, modern field boundary at its northern end. Its gradient is not constant so it makes little sense as a leat or drainage feature and is most likely a boundary although its curving course following the contour contrasts with the more regular, straight layout of other similar features apparent on Deer Park. [4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Report: Walls, S. and Morris, B.. 2012. Spooners, Exmoor: Results of a walkover survey. 12, 14, 17-20, 31.
  • <2> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2013. Spooners, Exmoor: Results of Archaeological Walkover Surveys and Post Mire Restoration Monitoring. 7, 8, 10, 14, 15.
  • <3> Report: Walls, S. and Morris, B.. 2012. Deer Park, Exmoor: Results of a walkover survey. 45.
  • <4> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2013. Archaeological walkover surveys on Deer Park, Exmoor. 14, 28, 29.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7730 3828 (538m by 331m)
Map sheet SS73NE
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument): EDP12(223)
  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument): EDP12(224)
  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument): ESP12(1)

Record last edited

Mar 17 2021 2:33PM

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