MMO2775 - Possible medieval enclosure remains to northwest of Rockley (Monument)


Several low banks forming enclosures are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs. They appear to have a medieval or possibly earlier date of origin, and may indicate a deserted farmstead or shrunken hamlet.

Please read the .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

McDonnell records low banks forming old field boundaries and the remains of rectangular buildings, shown well on aerial photographs taken in 1947. [1,2] Several low banks forming enclosures are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs west of Rockley Farm, Brayford. Centred at approximately SS 7026 3835, the banks form two rectangular enclosures adjacent to Rockley Lane. The enclosures are aligned approximately northwest to southeast, and therefore lie on an opposite alignment to the extant boundaries in the area. There is a possibility that these enclosures have been truncated by Rockley Lane to the north. The larger of the two, at SS 7026 3840, measures approximately 51 metres by 37 metres, while the smaller, at SS 7031 3841 measures approximately 25 metres by 10 metres. As stated above, however, both may have been truncated. Each of the enclosures is defined by a bank approximately 3.5 metres wide. The third enclosure, at SS 7023 3831 is formed by an almost curvilinear bank, and again lies on a different alignment, similar to the two rectangular enclosures to the north. This enclosure measures approximately 100 metres by 50 metres, and may have been subdivided internally. The bank itself is no more than 3 metres wide. The form of the three enclosures suggests a medieval date. None are depicted on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map, suggesting they had been abandoned some time before publication in 1890. It is possible that the remains represent a neighbouring farm to Rockley, now deserted, or that Rockley itself is the remains of a shrunken hamlet or other settlement. [3-5] 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/CPE/UK/1980 3343 (April 1947).
  • <2> Report: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Report on the Survey of Aerial Photography in the CRAAGS Region. Gazetteer No. SS7038B.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980 4143-44 (11 April 1947).
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890.
  • <5>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NW. MD002189. [Mapped feature: #33166 ]
  • <6> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1484512, Extant 1 December 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 7026 3835 (205m by 176m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS73NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 17820
  • Devon SMR: SS73NW/544
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20434
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NW115
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1484512

Record last edited

Dec 1 2021 10:45AM


Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.