MMO2536 - Post-medieval peat cutting on Manor Allotment (Monument)


An area of peat cutting most likely to date to the early to mid 19th Century.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Evidence of peat cutting can be seen as large, irregularly shaped pits and disturbed ground on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards, covering an area of over 8 hectares area of Manor Allotment, South Common, centred on circa SS 8110 4361. The visible pits are irregularly shaped but mostly rectilinear in plan, whilst often displaying a curved or stepped edge which has been interpreted as evidence of sustained and systematic peat cutting, perhaps by several generations of the same family returning to a preferred location and expanding an existing cutting. The identifiable pits vary in size but range up to 65 metres across. Between the transcribed pits, areas of disturbed ground indicate the presence of further earthworks not readily identifiable from aerial photographs. 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. [1-4] A study of the archaeology and history of peat exploitation on Exmoor’s moorlands provides additional background on the practice and sites. [5] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [6]

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. NMR RAF 106G/UK/1655 (F20) 4080-1 (11 July 1946).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 540/931 (F20) 3062-3 (8November 1952).
  • <3> Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. P. 72; 232-3.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SW. MD002184. [Mapped feature: #38943 ]
  • <5> Report: Riley, H.. 2014. Turf Cutting on Exmoor: An archaeological and historical study - project report.
  • <6> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1478364, Extant 19 July 2021.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SW285
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1478364



Grid reference Centred SS 8108 4363 (409m by 362m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS84SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jul 19 2021 10:51AM


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