MMO2517 - Peat Cutting, Madacombe (Monument)

Summary

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. The peat cuttings are one of 4 discrete but probably connected areas of extraction visible on the north-west facing slopes at Madacombe.

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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 82794279. The pits are generally sub-rectangular 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 nineteenth century, although cutting probably took place on a smaller scale from the medieval period well into the twentieth 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]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 540/931 (F20) 4103-5. 08/11/1952.
  • <2> Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. P. 72, 232-3.
  • <3> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SW. MD002184.
  • <4> Report: Riley, H.. 2014. Turf Cutting on Exmoor: An archaeological and historical study - project report.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8278 4280 (178m by 213m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS84SW
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1478139

Record last edited

Aug 18 2015 2:51PM

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