MMO2777 - Possible medieval field boundaries on Great Melcombe (Monument)

Summary

Low banks forming a series of slightly curvilinear field boundaries are visible on aerial photographs as earthworks. The banks may represent a medieval attempt to enclose the moor.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Low banks forming a series of slightly curvilinear field boundaries are visible on aerial photographs as earthworks on Great Melcombe, Brayford. Centred at approximately SS 7171 3833, the boundaries are aligned approximately north to south against the contours of the slope between Mel Combe and Henthitchen Combe. The banks, measuring approximately 3 metres wide, define at least three contiguous fields, the outer two being imcomplete as the banks fade from view. The central field measures 160 metres long by 145 metres wide, while the eastern incomplete field measures at least 125 metres long by 95 metres wide, and the western incomplete field 156 metre long by 100 metres wide. The total area enclosed is approximately 45 hectares. The field boundaries are not depicted on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1890, which shows the area as open moorland. It seems likely that these banks represent a medieval attempt to enclose the moor, which was abandoned some considerable time prior to the publication of the map. [1-4] The field banks were mapped by McDonnell in the 1980s with further extensions to the northeast and southwest. These extensions have been added to the HER GIS mapping for the record. [5-7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73087 624-25 (17 April 1973).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/96507 48-49 (30 March 1996).
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NW. MD002189. [Mapped feature: #43207 ]
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. MAM 14/051 (May 1977).
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. CPE/UK/1980 3444 (April 1947).
  • <7> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS7138B.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7188 3843 (640m by 418m) (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: 17828
  • Devon SMR: SS73NW/552
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE20442
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NW117
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1484565

Record last edited

Aug 31 2020 9:48PM

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