MMO2911 - Medieval or post-medieval trackways on Horsen Hill (Monument)


Three narrow medieval or post-medieval trackways are present on Horsen Hill. These were likely abandoned prior to 1889. At least one of the tracks has been levelled by land improvement techniques.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Three narrow trackways are visible on aerial photographs taken in the 1940s as earthworks on Horsen Hill, Exmoor. The northernmost track runs east-west across the edge of Sherdon and Horsen Hill from SS 7841 3595 to SS 7944 3559, measuring some 1100 metres in length. A second track runs north-south from SS 7841 3595 to SS 7859 3528, connecting with the first at its northern end and measuring some 690 metres in length. The third track is more curvilinear, running approximately east-west from SS 7860 3526 as far as SS 7935 3545 and measuring 765 metres long. None of the tracks are depicted on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map, suggesting they were abandoned prior to publication in 1889, and they most likely represent various medieval or post-medieval routes across the moorland here. At least one of the tracks has now been levelled by land improvement techniques. [1-3] The earthwork remains of a trackway run along the southeast and west sides of Horsen Hill. On the southeast side of the hill the trackway can be seen as a substantial earthwork formed by a scarp 0.75 metres high and a track some 2 metres wide. On the west side of the hill the track is used by agricultural vehicles. Traces of the track can be seen in the enclosed, improved field to the north of Horsen Hill in the form of a single scarp, 35 metres long and up to 1 metres high at 278526 135856 and a hollow 25 metres long, 5 metres wide and 0.5 metres deep at 278433 135856. Two ditches follow the southern trackway to help cut runoff, these are centred at 278801 135259 and 278611 135275 are 2 metres wide, 0.7 metres deep and 43 metres long, and 2 metres wide, 0.7 metres deep and 11 metres long. [4] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 543/2821 (F61) 167-68 (27 April 1964).
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.
  • <3>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NE. MD002190. [Mapped feature: #43391 ]
  • <4> Report: Riley, H.. 2016. Archaeological walkover survey: Horsen, Exmoor. 7, 10.
  • <5> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1487089, Extant 22 November 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 7892 3560 (1037m by 720m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS73NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NE114
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1487089

Record last edited

Nov 22 2021 9:52PM


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