MMO2638 - Medieval or post-medieval routeway on the west slopes of Furzehill Common (Monument)


A series of linear hollows and ditches on the west slopes of Furzehill Common above Hoaroak Water. These may represent medieval or post-medieval packhorse roads.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Irregular linear depressions on east slope of Furzehill Common. Old trackways. Very good on the 1947 and 1977 aerial photographs. [1] A series of linear hollows and ditches on the west slopes of Furzehill Common above Hoaroak Water, Lynton and Lynmouth, bear a striking resemblance to the medieval or post medieval packhorse roads seen elsewhere on Exmoor (see MDE12862). Centred at approximately SS 7413 4430, the tracks run roughly north to south along the contours of the east facing slope above Hoaroak Water. At the southern ends of the tracks, they curve downslope towards the river before fading from view, but presumably the track crossed Hoaroak Water at this point. There is no track or roadway depicted at this location on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map, suggesting it was abandoned prior to publication in 1889. It is possible that this is part of the packhorse road described by Burton and seen elsewhere on Exmoor, which skirted the boundary of the former Royal Forest of Exmoor, crossing Hoaroak Water before continuing up and over Cheriton Ridge. [4-7] Several hollows run across the east side of Furzehill Common down to Hoaroak Water. One of these hollows, which is up to 3 metres deep and 2.5 metres wide, is used as the north boundary of the Hoar Oak holding, indicating that the hollow is older than this part of the Hoar Oak enclosures. [8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS7444a.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF/CPE/UK/1980.4078 (April 1947).
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Meridian Air Maps. 1977-1978. Infrared False Colour Aerial Photography. MAM/13/072 (May 1977).
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.
  • <5> Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. 30-31.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73087 672-73 (17 April 1973).
  • <7> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182.
  • <8> Report: Riley, H.. 2013. Hoaroak Valley: Historic landscape survey and analysis. 32.



Grid reference Centred SS 7411 4430 (250m by 200m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 18169
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 18183
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 26028
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/99
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20823
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW280
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1480216

Record last edited

Apr 26 2020 9:22PM


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