MMO1786 - Medieval field system on Countisbury Common (Monument)

Summary

A field system of probable medieval date on Countisbury Common is visible on aerial photographs as a series of linear earthworks abutting the extant field boundaries, approximately 350 metres to the west of Kipscombe Combe.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Long low banks on Countisbury Common. Good on 1977 and 1978 aerial photographs. [1-3] Fragments of banked enclosures on either side of Lighthouse Road. Do not appear to belong to a coherent and continuous group of early fields. May be traces of 'rye-breaks' created in medieval and later periods to allow cultivation of an area enclosed from the common. [4] Series of banked enclosures on either side of Lighthouse Road to the west of the enclosed fields of Kipscombe observed during the survey by the National Trust in 2004. The irregular fields do not seem to form a coherent group and may represent temporary 'rye break' created in the medieval period for the use of common land for one season then abandoned. They appear more extensive than originally mapped in 1986 especially between Kipscombe and Coddow Combe. Only one small rectangular enclosure is shown on the historic maps. A series of tracks and hollow ways were identified on Countisbury Common. The main routes form part of a track heading west across the common. [5] A field system visible on aerial photographs as a series of linear earthworks on Countisbury Common at circa SS 7565 4985, approximately 350 metres to the west of Kipscombe Combe, is interpreted as being probably of medieval date. The earthworks abut the extant field boundaries to the north-west of Kipscombe Farm, and clearly relate to an earlier phase of enclosure, presumably incomplete or unsuccessful. Faint traces of ridge and furrow between the possibly incomplete field boundaries at circa SS 756501 may indicate further earthwork survival, but these are too poorly defined to transcribe. [6-8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. MAM/13/029 (1977).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. MAM/2610 (1978).
  • <3> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS7332a, SS7432a, SS7549b.
  • <4> Report: Thackray, D. + Thackray, C.. 1986. Lynmouth: Foreland Point, Countisbury Hill and Watersmeet, Devon. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. Site 100252. 7. Site 100252, 7, 11. Site distribution map 3, sites 048 and 049.
  • <5> Report: Berry, N.. 2004. Archaeological and Historic Landscape Survey of Kipscombe Farm, Countisbury. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. NT Sites and Monument Record numbers 100261, 100276.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/72065 016-017 (15 April 1972).
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/95026 085-085 (12 March 1995).
  • <8>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 NE. MD002168. [Mapped feature: #42787 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7567 4995 (269m by 646m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS74NE
Civil Parish COUNTISBURY, NORTH DEVON, DEVON

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 18115
  • Devon SMR: SS74NE/536
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20764
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 NE132
  • National Trust HER Record: MNA149664
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1461764

Record last edited

Dec 16 2020 1:48PM

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