MEM22570 - Post-medieval prospecting pits on Halscombe (Monument)

Summary

Two post-medieval trenches representing prospecting pits with associated spoil banks were visible during field investigation in 2012 and 2013. These form part of MEM22547.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

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 were two trenches which form part of MEM22547. The two trenches have spoil banks on each side, orientated northwest to southeast and are located 20 metres apart. The western trench is 83 metres long, 3 metres wide and 1 metre deep, with spoil banks 3 metres wide and 0.5 metres high. The eastern trench is 20 metres long, 3 metres wide and 1 metres deep with spoil banks 2 to 3 metres wide and 0.3 to 0.5 metres high. At the southeastern end of each, smaller, silted up ditches run to the Halscombe tributary and were probably dug for drainage. The two trenches are linked by another, 18 metres long, 3 metres wide and 1 metre deep. Banks of spoil on both sides are 3 metres wide and 0.5 metres high. A further trench runs off the western side of the western trench and is 36 metre long, 3 metres wide with spoil banks 3 metres wide and 0.5 metres high. [1] A large scale metric survey of an area of earthworks on Halscombe was undertaken by Hazel Riley in 2013 as part of the Exmoor Mires Project. Two long narrow trenches with banks of spoil on each side were seen to be oriented northwest-southeast and located 20 metres apart. The trench to the west is 83 metres long, 3 metres wide and 1 metre deep. The banks on each side are 3 metres wide and 0.5 metres high. The trench to the east is 20 metres long, 3 metres wide and 1 metre deep, with banks 2 ot 3 metres wide and 0.3 to 0.5 metres high on both sides. At the southeast end of both trenches long, silted up, reed filled ditches run from the trenches to the edge of a tributary stream to Halscombe Water. The west ditch is 45 metres long, 3 metres wide and 0.5 metres deep; the east ditch is 60 metres long, 3 metres wide and 0.5 metres deep. They were dug to drain water from the trenches into the stream below. The two trenches are linked by a short trench, 18 metres long, 3 metres wide and 1 metre deep. Banks of spoil on both sides are 3 metres wide and 0.5 metres high. This trench has been modified by a later drainage ditch (MEM22580). A further long, narrow trench runs off the west side of the west trench. This is 36 metres long and 3 metres wide, with banks of spoil 3 metres wide and 0.5 metres high on the sides. A drainage ditch cuts the trench and banks. These earthworks are most likely to be part of Frederick Knight’s prospecting for ironstone in the southern part of Exmoor Forest and so date from the early 1850s. [2]

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2013. Archaeological walkover surveys on Deer Park, Exmoor. 28, 29.
  • <2> Report: Riley, H.. 2013. Metric Survey of Halscombe, Simonsbath, Exmoor. 1, 3 ,4, 5, 8, 14.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7728 3858 (64m by 91m)
Map sheet SS73NE
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument): EDP13(401)

Record last edited

Feb 19 2014 4:54PM

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