MMO2306 - Post-medieval peat cutting west of Blackpitts Farm (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
- None recorded
An area of peat cutting, of probable post-medieval date, is visible as numerous rectangular sunken pits and irregular earthworks on moorland immediately west of Blackpitts Farm, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7623 4171, the cuttings cover an area of approximately 1.5 hectares, and are fairly uniform in size and shape, mostly consisting of rectangular sunken pits measuring up to 100 metres long and 25 metres wide. Due to the vast number of pits visible on aerial photographs, only a representative sample has been transcribed, indicating distribution and form. It is not clear whether the peat was used for domestic fuel purposes or for turfing enclosure walls. Peat cutting is known to have continued on Exmoor until very recently, and may continue in places. Similar areas of peat cutting are visible to the north, south and west. [1-4] In February 2007 several dams were built across the peat cuttings as part of Exmoor National Park's Mire Restoration Project, in order to promote regeneration of moorland bog vegetation. The cuttings are therefore no longer visible.  A study of the archaeology and history of peat exploitation on Exmoor’s moorlands provides additional background on the practice and sites.  During a walkover survey by Cornwall Council for the Mires Project, a large area of peat cuttings was confirmed in this area of Exe Head - Blackpitts.  This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. 
- <1> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/95026 072-73 (12 March 1995).
- <2> SEM7230 Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. P. 232-33.
- <3> SEM7440 Monograph: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 2001. The Field Archaeology of Exmoor. English Heritage. P. 143.
- <4>XY SMO7566 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SE. MD002183. [Mapped feature: #38945 ]
- <5> SEM7896 Report: Exmoor National Park Authority. 2008. The Exmoor Mire Restoration Project: Mid Project Report (July 2006 - Jan 2008).
- <6> SEM8135 Report: Riley, H.. 2014. Turf Cutting on Exmoor: An archaeological and historical study - project report.
- <7> SEM6823 Report: Kirkham, G. and Taylor, S.. 2008. Exmoor Mire Restoration Project: Archaeological Survey on Moorland Areas at Alderman's Barrow Allotment, Blackpitts-Exe Head, North Twitchen, Roosthitchen and Verney's Allotment. Cornwall County Council Historic Environment Service (Projects). p. 12; no. 3.
- <8> SEM7987 Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1475426, Extant 15 June 2021.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 7623 4170 (153m by 170m) Aerial Survey|
|Civil Parish||EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (0)
Related Events/Activities (2)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1475426 (Pastscape entry: 1475426)
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE155
- NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1475426
Record last edited
Jun 15 2021 4:16PM
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