MMO3185 - Medieval or post-medieval field system on Old Barrow Down (Monument)

Summary

Former field boundaries and ridge and furrow of possible medieval or post-medieval date can be seen as earthworks on aerial photographs, covering an area of over 7 hectares but more may be present and obscured by vegetation.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Former field boundaries and ridge and furrow of possible medieval or post-medieval date can be seen as earthworks on aerial photographs on Old Barrow Down, Withypool and Hawkridge parish, centred on circa SS 8376 3220. The ridge and furrow earthworks are visible within, but not completely filling, a large irregularly shaped field, defined on the north-west and part of the northeastern sides by narrow field boundary banks. The southeastern extent is defined by a gully that probably former through eroding a former field boundary bank. A similar negative earthwork defines a smaller field immediately to the east. Within the larger field the ridge and furrow can be seen to cover an area of over 7 hectares but more may be present and obscured by vegetation. Although displaying a slight curve to their southern ends, the banks are spaced less than 3 metres apart and are probably post-medieval in date. The ridge and furrow earthworks are clearly visible on the images available on Google Earth at the time of survey. [1-4] SS 83632 32419. A relict field system on the south side of Old Barrow Down, defined by a bank 1.2 metre wide, 0.2 metres high and with a ditch 2 metres wide and 0.7 metres deep. It covers an area 440 metres northwest to southeast by 240 metres northeast to southwest. This is not mapped on 19th Century maps [5,6] and the presence of narrow ridge and furrow cultivation suggests that the field system dates from the later medieval or earlier post-medieval periods and represents the piecemeal extension of enclosure and cultivation onto the edges of common land. SS 83793 32360. A rectangular enclosure in the southeastern corner of Old Barrow Down, 220 metres north to south, 240 metres east to west and formed by a ditch 1.5 metres deep and 0.6 metres deep. Narrow ridge and furrow cultivation was noted on aerial photographs but was not visible in the thick moor grass and reeds. This enclosure is on a different orientation to the enclosures of the field system at SS 83632 32419 and it appears to postdate it. The enclosure is not mapped on 19th Century maps [5,6] and the presence of narrow ridge and furrow cultivation suggests that the field system dates from the later medieval / earlier post-medieval periods and represents the piecemeal extension of enclosure and cultivation onto the edges of common land. SS 83936 32202. Faint traces of ridge and furrow are visible as slight earthworks inside the relict field system. The ridges are 1.3 metres wide and 0.3 metres high and the furrows are 0.5 metres wide and 0.3 metres deep. This is the remains of narrow ridge and furrow cultivation associated with the relict field system MMO3184 and dates from the late medieval or early post-medieval period. [7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 543/2821 (F62) 0258-9 (27 April 1964).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/72314 427-9 (16 August 1972).
  • <3> Website: Various. Google Earth. Viewed 2009.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 SW. MD002197. [Mapped feature: #43413 Extent of earlier section of field system, HWH17026]
  • <5> Map: 1841. Hawkridge Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890, Devon 16(6).
  • <7>XY Report: Riley, H.. 2018. Archaeological walkover survey: Halscombe Allotments, Humber's Ball, Hawkridge Plain & Old Barrow Down, Withypool & Hawkridge, Exmoor. HWH17026, HWH17028 and HWH17029, p9-10. [Mapped features: #44488 Ridge and furrow remains, HWH17029; #44490 Extent of later enclosure, HWH17028]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8383 3221 (690m by 447m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS83SW
Civil Parish WITHYPOOL AND HAWKRIDGE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET
Historic Parish HAWKRIDGE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument) (Halscombe etc): HWH17026
  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument) (Halscombe etc): HWH17028
  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument) (Halscombe etc): HWH17029
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 SW107
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1492035

Record last edited

May 14 2018 1:50PM

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