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.

Please read the .

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]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <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.
  • <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.



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

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE160
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1475490

Record last edited

Oct 6 2020 1:28PM


Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.