MMO1787 - Medieval or post-medieval routeways crossing Countisbury Common (Monument)


Two roads or tracks of post-medieval or earlier date can be seen historic mapping (one was visible as an earthwork during field survey in 2004). They appear to have been amalgamated to form a single road to Kipscombe Farm from the south by the end of the 19th Century.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Line of an old track to Kipscombe Farm from the main road identified during the survey by the National Trust in 2004. The track runs southsoutheast from the farm entrance then veers southeast towards the junction of the A39 with the minor road to Brendon. The feature which was shown on all the historic maps was up to 2.5 metres wide and probably went out of use in the last 50 years. [1] Track shown on the 1880s and 1905 1st and 2nd Edition 25 inch Ordnance Survey maps running south from SS 7596 4959 to the southwest of Kipscombe Farm to SS 7598 4943 and then southeast to SS 7610 4924 just to the northwest of Kipscombe Cross. [2,3] A ditch defined road or track across Countisbury Common can be seen as a cropmark on aerial photographs, at circa SS 7599 4934. The route is marked on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1889 and is therefore, at the latest, of post-medieval date. Prior to the enclosure of much of Countisbury Common following the Second World War this was probably the main route from Kipscombe Farm to the road now known as the A39. The farm approach is now via a track to west. Kipscombe Farmhouse is thought to date from the 17th Century. Nonetheless, the sinuous and curvilinear boundaries of many of the adjoining fields indicate, in the opinion of this authority, a probably medieval origin for this farmstead. Indeed, the pattern of small and somewhat irregular fields to the south of Kipscombe Farmhouse, with larger fields arrayed behind, plus cropmark evidence for abandoned fields immediately to the east, may support the interpretation that Kipscombe Farm previously was the location of a small hamlet at the head of Kipscombe Combe. Hints of a possible junction or crossroads at circa SS 7599 4934, not marked on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map, may also indicate the road predated the A39. [4-7] The Tithe Map for Countisbury shows two routeways heading to Kipscombe Farmstead from the south across Countisbury Common at this time. One originated on the road that is now the A39 at SS 7606 4928 and tracked northwest to SS 7602 4934, before heading more or less due north until SS 7600 4950 and then heading northwest to reach the farmstead at SS 7596 4958. This appears to be on the same alignment as that recorded in Berry's Survey [1]. The second routeway started at SS 7599 4922 (a location in the external northern corner of a field), heading directly northnorthwest to reach the same point at SS 7599 4922 outside the farmstead. These routeways appear to have been amalgamated to create the road shown on the 1st Edition map and transcribed by the NMP above [6,7]. [8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Report: Berry, N.. 2004. Archaeological and Historic Landscape Survey of Kipscombe Farm, Countisbury, Devon. NT SMR number 101003, site 031.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. MAL 74023 225 (14 April 1974).
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/95026 083-4 (12 March 1995).
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.
  • <7> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 NE. MD002168.
  • <8> Map: <1841. Countisbury Tithe Map and Apportionment.



Grid reference Centred SS 7601 4940 (138m by 374m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS74NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 71669
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE21869
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 NE133
  • National Trust HER Record: MNA149646
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1461867
  • Report Site Reference (SEM6856): 031

Record last edited

Dec 16 2020 1:44PM


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