MMO3182 - Medieval or post-medieval field system on Hawkridge Plain (Monument)


Evidence of former field boundaries and ridge and furrow of possible medieval or post-medieval date can be seen on aerial photographs of the 1940s as earthwork banks and gullies.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Evidence of former field boundaries and ridge and furrow of possible medieval or post-medieval date can be seen on aerial photographs as earthwork banks and gullies, on the south facing slopes of Hawkridge Plain, centred on circa SS 8295 3234. The earthworks define fields with curvilinear field boundaries containing areas of narrow ridge and furrow with a distance of, on average, 3 metres from ridge to ridge. The fields resemble those visible to the west on Humbers Ball and may be of similar date. The former presence of a number of field boundaries is inferred from linear gullies that may have formed alongside former field boundary banks before destroying the banks themselves. The features remain visible on the images currently available on Google Earth at the time of survey, indicating their survival as earthworks. However these images are regularly updated and the earthworks may not be visible on future images. [1-4] This section of field system was previously recorded by the Somerset HER under MSO8721. [5] SS 83034 32397. An extensive relict field system lies on the southern end of Hawkridge Plain, covering an area 550 metres east to west by 250 metres north to south. The morphology of the enclosures suggests that they were laid out in two phases, with the western enclosure laid out after the eastern enclosure. The western boundary takes the form of a ditch, 2.5 metres wide and 1 metre deep; the boundary of the eastern fields is a bank 1.1 metre wide and 0.5 metre high with a ditch 2 metres wide and 0.7 metres deep. Areas of narrow ridge and furrow cultivation are visible in the southeastern part of the fields. The enclosures are not mapped on 19th Century maps [6,7] and the presence of narrow ridge and furrow cultivation suggests that the field system dates from the later medieval or earlier post-medieval period and represents the piecemeal extension of enclosure and cultivation onto the edges of common land. SS 83108 32374. A stony bank, 1.6 metres wide and 0.6 metres high forms an internal boundary in the eastern enclosure of the relict field system. SS 83306 32280. The earthwork remains of narrow ridge and furrow cultivation are visible in an area of short cropped grass in the southeastern corner of the relict field system. The ridges are 0.9 metres wide and high and the furrows are 0.5 metres wide and 0.9 metres high. [8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1655 (F20) 4253-4 (11 July 1946).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR CPE/UK/2082 (F20) 3041-2 (19 May 1947).
  • <3> Website: Various. Google Earth. Viewed 10 March 2009.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 SW. MD002197. [Mapped features: #43410 Extent of field system, HWH17042; #44507 Ridge and furrow, HWH17048]
  • <5> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. Catherine Dove, 21 December 2016.
  • <6> Map: 1841. Hawkridge Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890, Devon 16(6).
  • <8>XY Report: Riley, H.. 2018. Archaeological walkover survey: Halscombe Allotments, Humber's Ball, Hawkridge Plain & Old Barrow Down, Withypool & Hawkridge, Exmoor. HWH17042, HWH17045, HWH17048, p12. [Mapped feature: #44505 Field boundary, HWH17045]



Grid reference Centred SS 8302 3231 (605m by 463m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS83SW
Historic Parish HAWKRIDGE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12362
  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument) (Halscombe etc): HWH17042
  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument) (Halscombe etc): HWH17045
  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument) (Halscombe etc): HWH17048
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 SW104
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1492021
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35551

Record last edited

May 14 2018 3:23PM


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