MMO2177 - North Twitchen Farm, Challacombe (Monument)


A series of earthworks representing the remains of medieval or post-medieval field boundaries, lynchets and hollow ways, with several building platforms and the remains of a substantial structure are visible on aerial photographs.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 7008 4138. One of two short lengths of bank noted on aerial photographs north of Old Close. The other is recorded under MDE20798. [1,2] SS 69991 41313. The earthwork remains of a farmstead of post-medieval date lie to the north of Twitchen Farm. The earthworks comprise a building platform, hollow ways and boundaries. [3] A series of earthworks representing the remains of field boundaries, lynchets and two hollow ways are visible on aerial photographs in fields around Twitchen Farm, Challacombe. At SS 6989 4135, a substantial lynchets is visible, measuring 75 metres long and up to 6 metres wide. To the east of this lynchet, at SS 7007 4138, the remains of several low field boundaries can be seen, dividing the extant field into four smaller enclosures. In the southeastern corner of these enclosures, two small building platforms can be seen, at SS 7011 4134 and SS 7013 4134. The northernmost of the two hollow ways at SS 7004 4133 measures approximately 105 metres long and 6 metres wide. It runs roughly east to west before fading out into a large and uneven oval depression, in which several small mounds are visible. It may have originally continued further downslope towards Yarbury Combe, following a similar alignment as the lynchet described above. The second hollow way is substantially longer, running east tto west from SS 7007 4131 to SS 6987 4131 and measuring approximately 195 metres long by 4 metres wide. At the eastern end, the hollow way appears to connect with a narrow track leading to Twitchen Farm. A ruined building is visible at SS 6999 4131. It appears roughly rectangular, measuring 13 by 7 metres. There are indications of an entranceway on the south side. This feature is marked on a map on the owner's website as "old settlement." According to documentary sources, Twitchen Farm was originally two settlements, known as North and South Twitchen, both of which were owned in the 18th Century by the Fortescue family. According to the current owner, the field in which the features can be seen was previously known as North Twitchen; during the 20th Century the field was divided into two by her father, and renamed. It seems likely that these features represent the remains of North Twitchen. It is not clear whether Twitchen is a medieval or post-medieval settlement; however, the earliest reference to North Twitchen in the Devon Record Office indicates it was certainly in existence by 1721. [4-10] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [11]

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF/CPE/UK/1980.3146 (April 1947).
  • <2> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS7041B.
  • <3> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. R Wilson-North, ENPA field visit, 22 September 2000.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/95026 005-006 (12 March 1995).
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.
  • <6> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Ms Helen Asher, communication by email, 3 March 2008.
  • <7> Website: Toms, K.T.. World Wide Web page. The National Archives 2008, Access to Archives (viewed 8 May 2008).
  • <8> Website: Toms, K.T.. World Wide Web page. Helen Asher, 2002, "Twitchen Farm", (viewed 8 May 2008, now removed).
  • <9> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 7041/2 (21109/06) (9 February 2001).
  • <10>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182. [Mapped feature: #32898 ]
  • <11> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1470796, Extant 15 November 2021.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 15158
  • Devon SMR: 18158
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/74
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MEM3
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW208
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1470796



Grid reference Centred SS 7000 4137 (307m by 152m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Nov 15 2021 3:54PM


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