MMO2767 - Post-medieval peat cutting on Horcombe (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
- None recorded
A large area of peat cutting, of probable post-medieval date, is visible on aerial photographs as numerous small pits and irregular earthworks on Horcombe, south of the River Barle, Exmoor and covering an area of approximately 8 hectares. The earthworks are centred on SS 7433 3822 and are of a variety of shapes and sizes, from square or rectangular pits measuring 10 metres across, to less regularly shaped, curved or branching trenches up to 60 metres across. Due to the vast number of pits visible on aerial photographs, only a representative sample has been transcribed, indicating distribution and form. It is likely that these cuttings were worked mainly in the mid to late 19th Century, following the acquisition of the former Royal Forest by the Knight family. Prior to that date this area would have been within the forest boundaries. Peat cutting is known to have continued on Exmoor until very recently, and may continue in places. A similar area visible to the east may have been in use at the same time; the pattern of pits and trenches are quite similar. [1-4] A study of the archaeology and history of peat exploitation on Exmoor’s moorlands provides additional background on the practice and sites.  This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. 
- <1> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73087 619-20 (17 April 1973).
- <2> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/96507 44-45 (30 March 1996).
- <3> SEM7230 Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. P. 232-33.
- <4>XY SMO7572 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NW. MD002189. [Mapped feature: #38948 ]
- <5> SEM8135 Report: Riley, H.. 2014. Turf Cutting on Exmoor: An archaeological and historical study - project report.
- <6> SEM7987 Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1484458, Extant 1 December 2021.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 7434 3821 (397m by 437m) Aerial Survey|
|Civil Parish||EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (1)
Related Events/Activities (1)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1484458 (Pastscape entry: 1484458)
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NW107
- NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1484458
Record last edited
Dec 1 2021 10:20AM
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