MMO2632 - Post-medieval peat cutting west of Hoar Oak Cottage (Monument)


A large area of peat cutting, of probable post-medieval date, is visible as numerous small pits and irregular earthworks on moorland.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A large area of peat cutting, of probable post-medieval date, is visible on aerial photographs as numerous small pits and irregular earthworks covering an area of approximately 11.8 hectares. The earthworks are centred on SS 7384 4370, and straddle the county boundary between Devon and Somerset. They are of a variety of shapes and sizes, from square pits measuring 13-15 metres across, to less regularly shaped, curved pits up to 45-50 metres across. Due to the vast number of pits visible on aerial photographs, only a representative sample has been transcribed, indicating distribution and form. Peat cutting is known to have continued on Exmoor until very recently, and may continue in places. The cutting here may well have provided fuel for Hoaroak Cottage, which lies 400 metres due east, or may have been used for turfing enclosure walls around Hoaroak. Similar areas of peat cutting are visible to the south and north (see MMO2161 and MMO2164). [1-3] This site is mentioned in the 2013 report by Hazel Riley, a field survey and synthesis of previous projects in the Hoaroak Valley, funded by the Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership Scheme. [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: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 540/931 3082-83 (8 November 1952).
  • <2> Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. P. 232-34.
  • <3>XY Archive: English Heritage. 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182. [Mapped feature: #38859 ]
  • <4> Report: Riley, H.. 2013. Hoaroak Valley: Historic landscape survey and analysis. 36.
  • <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. 1480127, Extant 19 January 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 7384 4365 (360m by 701m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW274
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1480127

Record last edited

Jan 19 2022 3:04PM


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