MMO1699 - Post-medieval peat cutting on Withycombe Ridge (Monument)


An area of peat cutting of probable post-medieval date is visible on aerial photographs as numerous small pits and irregular earthworks.

Please read the .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

An area of peat cutting of probabley post-medieval date, with possible 20th Century elements, is visible on aerial photographs as numerous small pits and irregular earthworks on Withycombe Ridge, Brendon parish, centred approximately on SS 7752 4519. This group of cuttings is associated with several larger groups on Brendon Common to the south and west, but has been recorded individually as it is over 100 metres distant, along Withycombe Ridge, from its nearest neighbour.The individual pits vary in shape and sizes, including sub-rectangular pits approximately 10 by 6 metres in size, less regularly shaped pits displaying curved boundaries approaching 40 metres across, and narrow, sinuous excavations up to 70 metres long. Due to the great number and complexity of the pits, a representative selection of peat cuttings has been transcribed indicating distribution and form. Peat cutting is known to have continued on Exmoor until very recently and may still occur in places. [1-3] A study of the archaeology and history of peat exploitation on Exmoor’s moorlands provides additional background on the practice and sites. [4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF CPE/1980 4072-3 (11 April 1947).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/95026 094-5 (12 March 1995).
  • <3>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 NE. MD002168. [Mapped feature: #38862 ]
  • <4> Report: Riley, H.. 2014. Turf Cutting on Exmoor: An archaeological and historical study - project report.



Grid reference Centred SS 7746 4516 (367m by 183m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS74NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 NE 85
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1461109

Record last edited

Jan 6 2021 9:13AM


Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.