MEM25044 - Post-medieval terraced paths southwest of Glenthorne House (Monument)


A group of terraced paths were surveyed in 2021. They form part of the 19th Century designed landscape around Glenthorne.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

An archaeological survey was undertaken along part of a proposed route of the new England Coast Path through the Glenthorne Estate on Exmoor in March 2021. The 25 inch 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map shows the extent of the designed landscape around Glenthorne. A network of terraced walks and paths traverse the slopes between the main drive, and link the house with the walled gardens and Garden Cottage, Home Farm, Glenthorne Beach and Yenworthy Combe. A road links the drive with the Countisbury to Porlock Road south of Old Burrow. SS 7944 4922 to SS 7954 4932. A narrow path, 1 metre wide, cut into the steep hillside to a depth of some 0.9 metre, with a dry stone retaining wall up to 0.5 metre high and 0.4 metre wide visible in places on the down slope side.The retaining wall is ruinous but a distinctive capping of horizontally laid slabs of local stone is evident in places. SS 7954 4932 to SS 7957 4934. A terraced walk, 1.2 metres wide, with a dry stone retaining wall, built of vertically pitched local stone of a similar size, with no obvious capping, 1.2 metres high and 0.3 metres wide on the upslope side. SS 7957 4934 to SS 7968 4941. A path through a laurel dominated plantation, 0.8 metres wide, terraced into the hillside by 0.9 metres with a retaining dry stone wall, 0.4 metres wide and 0.3 metres high, on the down slope side evident in several places.The wall is rather obscured by the laurel, but a distinctive capping of horizontally laid large slabs of local stone can be seen. SS 7968 4941 to SS 7955 4952. A terraced walk through Pollard Wood with a recently erected deer fence built along it. The path is cut into the rocky hillside to a depth of some 0.5 metres and is 2 metres wide. Some rather dilapidated stretches of retaining wall, up to 0.5 metres high, on the upslope side are visible in places. At SS 7955 4952 the path crosses a distinctive stone faced boundary bank. SS 7955 4952 to SS 7952 4958 a new path down a steep combe. At c SS 7954 4955 the new route would cross an estate path shown on the 1st Edition map. It is visible as a narrow, rock cut path, 1 metre wide and terraced into the slope some 0.7 metres. SS 7952 4958 to SS 7948 4974 the route follows the course of a footpath shown on the 1st Edition map but not discernible on the ground. No archaeological features were noted in the area. SS 7948 4974 to SS 7942 4977 the route follow the drive to Glenthorne House as it approaches the hairpin bend at an ornate gateway known as The Towers (MDE21306). The drive is a spectacular feature in the landscape, with views out across the Bristol Channel. The drive is 2.5 metres wide, rock cut and terraced into the cliffs to a depth of over 2 metres.The Towers are formed of two hexagonal turrets, linked by an archway, with a carved stone lion on top of the arch and stone birds on top of each tower. The gateway forms the start of a terraced walk along the cliffs through Little Wood.[1,2] N.B. This record only includes GIS data for the drive and paths on the Countisbury side of the designed landscape. [3]

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890.
  • <2> Report: Riley, H.. 2021. Archaeological survey at Glenthorne, Countisbury, Devon and Oare, Somerset, Exmoor National Park: The Combe SS 79947 49497 - The Towers SS 79425 49776. Hazel Riley. p2-4, 7-10.
  • <3> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 11 August 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 7937 4922 (1027m by 1111m)
Map sheet SS74NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • None recorded

Record last edited

Aug 11 2021 1:14PM


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