MMO2172 - Post-medieval peat cutting north of Pinkery Farm (Monument)


A large area of post-medieval peat cutting is visible as numerous small pits and irregular earthworks. The cuttings are closely associated with an area of 19th Century drainage and 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

An area of peat cutting, of probable post-medieval date, is visible on aerial photographs as numerous small pits and irregular earthworks on moorland north of Pinkery Farm, covering an area of approximately 2 hectares. The earthworks are centred on SS 7221 4152 and are of a variety of shapes and sizes, from square pits measuring 2 to 3 metres to less regularly shaped, curved pits up to 20 metres across. In places the cuttings pass through a pair of post medieval drainage ditches which are believed to date to the period of the Knight family's improvement attempts. It therefore seems likely that peat cutting in ths area began shortly after the mid 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 very recently, and may continue in places. Similar areas are visible to the east and north-east, along The Chains. [1-3] A study of the archaeology and history of peat exploitation on Exmoor’s moorlands provides additional background on the practice and sites. [4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 924-26 (29 April 1973).
  • <2> Monograph: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 2001. The Field Archaeology of Exmoor. English Heritage. p 47, 143.
  • <3>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182. [Mapped feature: #38891 ]
  • <4> Report: Riley, H.. 2014. Turf Cutting on Exmoor: An archaeological and historical study - project report.



Grid reference Centred SS 7226 4154 (154m by 133m) (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 SW203
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1470702

Record last edited

Feb 10 2021 3:18PM


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