MMO2304 - Post-medieval peat cutting on Exe Plain (Monument)


A large area of peat cutting, of probable post-medieval date, is visible as numerous large linear sunken areas and irregular earthworks. They are closely associated with a number of 19th Century drainage ditches.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

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 large linear pits and irregular earthworks on Exe Plain and covering an area of approximately 45 hectares. The earthworks are centred on approximately SS 7533 4217 and are fairly uniform in size and shape. Most are rectangular, aligned approximately northwest to southeast and between 50 and 150 metres long and 30-55 metres wide. 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 south and east. [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] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [6] SS 7516 4185. Turf pits relating to Duredown Farm. SS 7540 4186. Turf pits relating to Lincombe Cottages. SS 754 423. Large area of turf pits relating to West Gate Cottages, West Cottage, Hillcrest, Barton Farm, Forest Hotel, White Rocks Cottage, School House, South View Cottage (1 Jubilee Cottages), Vicarage, Winstitchen Bungalow. [7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. Exmoor National Park Authority, MAL 13/77 113-14 (20 May 1977).
  • <2> Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. PP 232-233.
  • <3> Monograph: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 2001. The Field Archaeology of Exmoor. English Heritage.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SE. MD002183. [Mapped feature: #32993 ]
  • <5> Report: Riley, H.. 2014. Turf Cutting on Exmoor: An archaeological and historical study - project report.
  • <6> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1475403, Extant 15 June 2021.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Wills, G.. Unknown. Location of turf pits within the parishes of Exmoor & Brendon.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Local Heritage List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE153
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1475403



Grid reference Centred SS 7541 4226 (764m by 1133m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS74SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Related Articles (1)

Record last edited

Nov 30 2022 4:19PM


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