MMO2520 - 19th Century peat cutting on Kittuck Mead (Monument)


A area of probably 19th century peat cutting.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Peat cutting of probably largely 19th Century date can be seen as three irregularly shaped large pits on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards, centred on circa SS 8246 4342. The area of extraction is fairly small and self contained, covering almost 0.5 hectares. The visible pits are irregularly shaped but quite extensive, with one example showing evidence for continuous turfs over 50 metres in length. All three pits have stepped edges, indicating systematic cutting, and may reflect the cumulative nature of some peat cutting on Exmoor, where one family cuts the same peat beds for generations as part of their commoners rights. This is one of four discrete but possibly associated areas of extraction on the northwest facing slopes at Madacombe, but appears to have most in common with a more extensive ara of cuttings approximately 200 metres to the south-east. 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. 72, 232-3.
  • <3>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SW. MD002184. [Mapped feature: #38918 ]
  • <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. 1478165, Extant 19 July 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 8245 4342 (82m by 136m) 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 SW269
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1478165

Record last edited

Jul 19 2021 2:52PM


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