MMO2517 - 19th Century peat cutting on Madacombe (Monument)


An area of peat cutting of probable 19th Century date can be seen as numerous irregularly shaped pits and disturbed ground on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

An area of peat cutting of probably largely 19th Century date can be seen as numerous irregularly shaped, densely packed pits and disturbed ground on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards, centred on circa SS 8279 4279. The pits are generally subrectangular in shape, varying in size from under 3 metres to 10 metres across. Similar cuttings can be seen circa 500 metres to the south, near Aldermans Barrow. This area does not contain any of the larger, cumulative pits which may be indicative of long term cutting by an individual or family, as visible for example approximately 400 metres to the north, and may represent speculative extraction. Due to the difficult nature of the evidence which can vary in appearance on aerial photographs from year to year, the transcription attempts only to convey the general area and 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 in the first half of the 19th Century, although cutting probably took place on a smaller scale from the medieval period well into the 20th Century. (1-3) A study of the archaeology and history of peat exploitation on Exmoor’s moorlands provides additional background on the practice and sites. [4] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 540/931 (F20) 4103-5 (8 November 1952).
  • <2> Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. P. 72, 232-3.
  • <3>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SW. MD002184. [Mapped feature: #38906 ]
  • <4> Report: Riley, H.. 2014. Turf Cutting on Exmoor: An archaeological and historical study - project report.
  • <5> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1478139, Extant 19 July 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 8278 4280 (178m by 213m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS84SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (7)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SW266
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1478139

Record last edited

Jul 19 2021 3:04PM


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