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.

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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 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]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <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.



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

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Related Articles (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE153
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1475403

Record last edited

Oct 6 2020 1:05PM


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