MMO2929 - Post-medieval peat cutting on Long Holcombe (Monument)


Peat cutting of probable post-medieval date. It is unknown whether the peat was extracted for domestic fuel, or for turfing enclosure walls. These were most likely abandoned in the late 19th or 20th Century.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

An area of peat cutting, of probable post-medieval date, is visible on aerial photographs as numerous small pits and irregular earthworks covering an area of approximately 2 hectares. The earthworks are centred on SS 7721 3598, at the summit of Long Holcombe, Exmoor. They are of a variety of shapes and sizes, from square pits measuring 4 metres across; to less regularly shaped, curved pits up to 30 metres across. Due to the vast number of pits visible on aerial photographs, only a representative sample has been transcribed, indicating distribution and form. Peat cutting is known to have continued on Exmoor until very recently, and may continue in places. Similar areas are visible to west on Hangley Cleave and to the north near Long Holcombe Cross. [1-3] A study of the archaeology and history of peat exploitation on Exmoor’s moorlands provides additional background on the practice and sites. [4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73086 821-22 (17 April 1973).
  • <2> Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. 232-33.
  • <3> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NE. MD002190.
  • <4> Report: Riley, H.. 2014. Turf Cutting on Exmoor: An archaeological and historical study - project report.



Grid reference Centred SS 7721 3598 (219m by 242m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS73NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NE132
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1487419

Record last edited

Dec 20 2016 8:54AM


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