MMO2311 - Post-medieval peat cutting northwest of Brendon Two Gates (Monument)


A large area of peat cutting, of probable post-medieval date, is visible as numerous small pits and irregular earthworks.

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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 [1] as numerous irregular sunken pits and earthworks on moorland northwest of Brendon Two Gates on the B3223, covering an area of approximately 8 hectares. The earthworks are centred on approximately SS 7643 4332 and are of a variety of shapes and sizes, from large square pits measuring up to 26 metres across, to less regularly shaped, curved pits up to 30 metres long by 5 metres wide. It is not clear whether the peat was extracted for domestic fuel, or for turfing enclosure walls. 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 north and south, and this patch of cuttings may be part of the larger area extending from Withycombe Ridge to Blackpitts. [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]

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 872-73 (29 April 1973).
  • <2> Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. PP. 232-33.
  • <3> Monograph: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 2001. The Field Archaeology of Exmoor. English Heritage. P 47, 143.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SE. MD002183. [Mapped feature: #38759 ]
  • <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. 1475490, Extant 15 June 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 7641 4333 (197m by 215m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS74SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE160
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1475490

Record last edited

Jun 15 2021 4:01PM


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