MMO213 - Deserted medieval farmstead on western side of Bramble Combe (Monument)


The farmstead is visible as structures and earthworks comprising a two celled structure on a split level with another building platform beyond. It is associated with field system MSO7627.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 944 479. Earthworks of a deserted farmstead on North Hill were discovered by Betty Osborn. Two or three buildings seem to be represented within an enclosure and fields next to a holloway. [1,9] A deserted medieval farmstead on the western side of Bramble Combe at SS 94419 47905. The site occupies a sheltered position at the head of the combe and comprises a two celled structure on a split level, measuring 22 metres by 5 metres. On its southeastern side are miscellaneous scarps and levelled areas which appear to represent small yards between the main building and a deep natural gulley beyond. A further building platform measuring 10 metres by 5 metres lies to the northeast. The farmstead lies within a field system (MSO7627), and was formerly approached through these fields from the south, where the head of the natural gulley seems to have exploited a hollow way leading to the farmstead. Surveyed at 1:500 scale as part of RCHME's survey and report on the Exmoor National Park holding on North Hill. [2-5] The deserted farmstead above [1-5] is visible as earthworks on aerial photographs. The site is centred at SS 9441 4790 and covers an area that measures 36 metres long by 14 metres wide at its widest points. One building platform can be seen as a levelled terrace. A possible hollow way follows the line of a field boundary bank and extends south of the deserted farmstead from SS 9441 4787 to SS 9440 4778. [6,7] Well preserved medieval farmstead building, associated with field enclosures to the west. Consists of at least two buildings lying on the west side of the deeply incised west fork of Bramble Combe. Sheltered situation with steep slope up to the west, but easier access from the southwest. The south building is a 2 cell structure (?longhouse) with entrance on east side of the southern half. The west building is one roomed and less well preserved. Other buildings also in the vicinity. [8] Called The Yarde. Occupied c1279 by Johns de la Yarde with wife and 3 other tenants, 12 acres in extent. Farm in decline by 1487. Situated at SS 945 480. Longhouses at SS 9446 4796 - 29 metres by 6 metres and 13 metres apart. More buildings at SS 9436 4794. [9] The hollow way transcribed by [5] appears to be partially depicted on the 2020 MasterMap data. [12] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [13]

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Article in serial: Aston, M. 1982-3. Deserted Farmsteads on Exmoor. Somerset archaeology and natural history : the pro. 127. p 96.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 9 December 1997.
  • <3> Report: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 1997. The field archaeology of North Hill: An archaeological survey of the Exmoor National Park holding. RCHME.
  • <4> Technical drawing: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 1997. Bramble Combe/ink survey . 1:500. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <5> Report: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 1997. The field archaeology of North Hill: An archaeological survey of the Exmoor National Park holding. RCHME.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 9447/2/164-195 (SF1459) (1 May 1979).
  • <7>XY Archive: Dickson, A.. 2007. Severn Estuary Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment: SS 94 NW. MD000133. [Mapped feature: #35157 ]
  • <8> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. E Dennison, SMR Officer, April 1984.
  • <9> Article in serial: Osborn, B.. 1983. Parish surveys in Somerset five: Minehead Without. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 5. 25-26.
  • <10> Aerial photograph: September 19. HSL.UK.71-177 Run 35. 8472.
  • <11> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. 9447, 9448.
  • <12> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap data. 1:2,500.
  • <13> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36840, Extant 11 May 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 9441 4785 (44m by 135m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS94NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (4)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11444
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO7584
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 NW27
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36840
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33818

Record last edited

May 11 2022 12:39PM


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