MMO2164 - Post-medieval peat cutting on Hoaroak Hill (Monument)


A large area of peat cutting, of probable post-medieval date, is visible as numerous small pits and irregular earthworks. The cuttings were most likely abandoned in the late 19th or 20th Century.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A large area of peat cutting, of probable post-medieval date, is visible on aerial photographs as numerous small pits and irregular earthworks on Hoaroak Hill, Exmoor, covering an area of approximately 7.5 hectares. The earthworks are centred on SS 737 429 and are of a variety of shapes and sizes, from square pits measuring 6 to 8 metres, to rectangular linear pits up to 200 metres across. The cuttings lie in close proximity to a number of post-medieval and 20th Century drains depicted on the modern Ordnance Survey map, which are believed to have been cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at land improvement in the area during the 19th Century. Due to the vast number of pits visible on aerial photographs, only a representative sample has been transcribed, indicating distribution and form. Peat cutting is known to have continued on Exmoor until vary recently, and may continue in places. Similar areas are visible to the north along The Chains. [1-4] A study of the archaeology and history of peat exploitation on Exmoor’s moorlands provides additional background on the practice and sites. [5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 540/931 3126-28 (8 November 1952).
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2004. 1:10000, 2004. 1:10,000.
  • <3> Monograph: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 2001. The Field Archaeology of Exmoor. English Heritage. P. 47, 143.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182. [Mapped feature: #38810 ]
  • <5> Report: Riley, H.. 2014. Turf Cutting on Exmoor: An archaeological and historical study - project report.



Grid reference Centred SS 7372 4301 (680m by 310m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW195
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1470618

Record last edited

Feb 10 2021 3:31PM


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