MMO206 - Smarmoor deserted medieval farmstead (Monument)


The farmstead is indicated in the lay subsidy of 1327 and comprised 187 acres and included a barn and court when shown on the tithe map of 1840. To the west were the cottages and gardens of Smarmoor Lower Head.

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Type and Period (5)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Smarmoor, Brompton Regis. SS 952 336. Only fragmentary earthworks and enclosures remain of this probable medieval farm site. There has been much agricultural improvement nearby. (Deserted farm detail, with 'Smarmoor Farm' to the south shown at SS 9525 3369 on Ordnance Survey 6 inch 1962 map). [1] SS 952 337. Deserted Md farmstead of Smarmoor, indicated in the 1327 Lay Subsidy by the entry of Johanne de Smalemar. [2] Barn and court shown as part of Smarmoor Farm on tithe map. To the west were cottages and gardens called Smarmoor Lower Head. A platform remains with probable longhouse, and earthworks of other buildings and enclosures are nearby. At SS 948 337 are the remains of the cottages shown in 1840. (M Aston. Fieldwork 14 May 1977) [3] The 1904 25 inch map shows only two buildings in existence. [4] The fragmentary remains of the farmstead described by the previous authorities, were seen as well preserved earthworks on vertical aerial photographs and mapped as part of the Brendon Hills Mapping Project. The farmstead is centred at SS 9525 3366 where a small complex of 3 to 4 small rectilinear enclosures and linear banks, probably field boundaries are visible, to the west at SS 951 336 is a field of ridge and furrow. To the south at SS 9525 3325, are cross contour drainage features, known locally as catch meadow irrigations systems. [5-11] Earthwork of buildings much affected by farm workings. Platform remains with probable longhouse and other earthworks are also apparent. West of the site at SS 948 337 in a sheltered valley are the remains of cottages which are shown on the tithe map. [13] The earthworks identified during the Brendon Hills Mapping Project were confirmed on the ground during RCHME's Exmoor Project. The well defined remains of a two celled rectangular building is visible at SS 9527 3367 on the north side of an old trackway. Other amorphous earthworks are visible to the south and southeast. In a field to the north are the vestiges of removed field boundaries. At SS 9523 3358 is a second building also identified during the Brendon Hills Mapping Project. It lies on the western side of a marshy gulley and is defined by slight earthworks 0.3 metres high. [12]

Sources/Archives (15)

  • <1> Article in serial: Aston, M and Murles, B.J. 1978. Somerset Archaeology 1977. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society. 122. 136.
  • <2> Monograph: Glasscock, R.E. (editor). 1975. The Lay Subsidy of 1334. Oxford University Press. 11. 265.
  • <3> Map: 1841. Kings Brompton Tithe Map and Apportionment. 6 chains = 1 inch.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1904. 25" sheet. 57(8).
  • <5> Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 9533.
  • <6> Archive: RCHME: Brendon Hills Mapping Project, SS 93 SE. AF1118137.
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1962. 6" SS93SE.
  • <8> Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. Slide SCPD 3.003.0004.
  • <9> Aerial photograph: September 19. HSL.UK.71-177 Run 95. 8756.
  • <10> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. CPE/UK/2082/4027-8 (19 May 1947).
  • <11> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. SCC CS969 9697-8 (5 November 1981).
  • <12> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 7 September 1998.
  • <13> Article in serial: Aston, M.. 1983. Deserted Farmsteads on Exmoor and the Lay Subsidy of 1327 in West Somerset. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 127. p 78-82, 88.
  • <14> Serial: Dickinson, F.H.. 1889. Kirby's Quest for Somerset. 177.
  • <15> Map: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1979. SS93SE. 7.



Grid reference Centred SS 9522 3342 (403m by 584m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS93SE
Historic Parish KINGS BROMPTON

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11095
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO8851
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 93 SE7
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 36695
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33392

Record last edited

Jul 16 2018 3:51PM


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