MMO2462 - 19th Century peat cutting on southern slopes of Swap Hill (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
A small area of peat cutting of probable 19th Century date can be seen as irregularly shaped pits and disturbed ground on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards, centred on circa SS 8243 4173. The clearly visible pits vary in shape and size from small rectilinear pits less than 5 metres in length to less regularly shaped features up to 15 metres in length, and probably represent the deepest features. However, more extensive but shallower workings are probably present but are visible only as a disturbed ground surface covering about 4000 square metres (0.4 hectares). Due to the difficult nature of this evidence, which can vary in appearance on aerial photographs from year to year, the transcription attempts only to convey the area and general character of the excavations, and should be taken only as indicative of the extent of individual pits. The heyday of peat cutting on Exmoor was probably in the first half of the 19th Century, although small scale cutting probably continued well into the 20th Century. These pits are physically associated with 19th Century drainage ditches and were probably opportunistically exploiting the excavations of the failed drainage system in the second half of the 19th Century. [1-4] A study of the archaeology and history of peat exploitation on Exmoor’s moorlands provides additional background on the practice and sites.  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> SEM6707 Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3164-5 (11 April 1947).
- <2> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 540/931 (F20) 3103-4 (8 November 1952).
- <3> SEM7230 Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. 72, 232-3.
- <4>XY SMO7567 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SW. MD002184. [Mapped feature: #32580 ]
- <5> SEM8135 Report: Riley, H.. 2014. Turf Cutting on Exmoor: An archaeological and historical study - project report.
- <6> SEM7987 Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1477836, Extant 20 July 2021.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 8243 4173 (62m by 87m) Aerial Survey|
|Civil Parish||EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (2)
Related Events/Activities (1)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1477836 (Pastscape entry: 1477836)
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SW228
- NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1477836
Record last edited
Jul 20 2021 1:28PM
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