MMO2776 - Possible prehistoric or medieval earthworks on Great Melcombe (Monument)

Summary

A circular banked feature and a short length of earthwork bank are visible on aerial photographs. The feature may form part of medieval desertion earthworks, but the circular feature may indicate an earlier, possibly prehistoric date.

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Type and Period (4)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

An area of surface disturbance with earthworks suggesting building remains and associated trackway on Great Melcombe. Possibly a deserted farm site or quarry. Very good on 1947 aerial photographs, good on 1977 photographs. [1-3] A circular banked feature and a short length of earthwork bank are visible on aerial photographs on the western edge of Great Melcombe, Brayford. Centred at approximately SS 7141 3821, the circular feature is defined by a low bank measuring 3.5 metres wide, enclosing an area approximately 16 metres in diameter. There is a break in the bank on the northwest side which may indicate a possible entranceway or damage to the feature. North of the circular feature, at SS 7141 3823 , a short length of linear bank measuring approximately2.5 metres wide runs northeast for approximately 18 metres, where it connects with a second bank running approximately north to south and measuring some 20 metres. These banks appear to be the remains of an enclosure, presumably associated with the circular feature. The features appear to predate the extant field boundaries in the vicinity, as the boundaries clearly change direction to avoid the area. The area is shown as moorland on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1890, but the post-medieval boundaries on the map show the same change in direction. The Devon Historic Environment Record listed the features as a possible medieval desertion, perhaps associated with the medieval field boundaries an enclosure attempts visible to the east. However the circular feature may indicate an earlier, possibly prehistoric date. Further survey is required to establish a precise date and function for these features. [4-6]

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF/CPE/UK/1980.3444 (April 1947).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. MAM/14/051 (May 1977).
  • <3> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS7138a.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73087 624-25 (17 April 1973).
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890.
  • <6>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NW. MD002189. [Mapped feature: #43201 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7140 3822 (26m by 50m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS73NW
Civil Parish BRAYFORD, NORTH DEVON, DEVON

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 17826
  • Devon SMR: SS73NW/550
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20440
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NW116
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1484557

Record last edited

Aug 31 2020 9:55PM

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