MMO323 - (Monument)


A rectangular embanked ditch enclosure measuring 22.5 metres by 19.5 metres is visible on aerial photographs and at ground level on Martinhoe Common. It is thought to date to the post medieval period, possibly being constructed between 1889 and 1904, but its function and purpose are unclear.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

SS 6735 4846. A rectangular embanked ditched enclosure measuring internally about 22.5m by 19.5m (0.043ha internal area). It is situated at about 260m OD slightly below the crest of a spur on a gentle NE-facing slope with panoramic views in an area previously of moorland converted to pasture in 1945. (1) The enclosure is not shown on the 1840 Tithe Map (2) nor the 1889 OS map (3) but appears on the 1904 OS (4) with a smaller rectangular extension some 14m to the SW of which there is now no trace. The turf-covered stony enclosure bank, 1.5m across its flat top and some 4m wide at its base, is from 0.4m to 0.7m high internally and from 0.5m to 1m high externally and has been robbed in places. There is no trace of an entrance. The external ditch, on average 2.5m wide and 0.2m deep, is less well preserved probably due to silting and ploughing. The interior overlies an angled linear feature 2.2m wide and 0.2m high. On the Air Photos (5) it can be seen extending to the NW and SE but there is now no trace of it continuing beyond the enclosure on the ground. McDonnell (6) calls this a field drain, but it is hard to ascertain if it is a lynchet, a low bank, or a backfilled field drain. Set into the inner scarp of the SW, uphill side, of the enclosure bank are the remains of an apparent building stance, about 6.5m NW/SE by 2.5m. McDonnell (6) suggests this is probably a double stone feeding trough but it is cross hatched as a building on the OS map (4). The outer scarp of the enclosure bank and the ditch do not continue across the SW side of this platform so, in the light of there being no trace of an entrance through the enclosure bank elsewhere, the platform may have been condstructed over an entrance. The bank appears to be unnecessarily massive for the size and type of enclosure. It does not appear to be a 'tree ring' type of enclosure but appears to be a modern construction although its purpose is not clear. Published Survey 1:2500 Accepted. (7) The enclosure described above is clearly visible on aerial photographs from 1946 onwards as a series of substantial earthworks, with an apparent entranceway on the south-west side. The function and purpose of this enclosure is not clear from aerial photographs; however, as stated above the enclosure is not shown on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1889 but is depicted on the 2nd Edition of 1904. It is likely to have been constructed around this time (8-9).

Sources/Archives (10)

  • --- Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. MAL 76067 123 04-AUG-1976.
  • --- Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1655 3160 11-JUL-1946.
  • --- Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. Martinhoe Tithe Map 1842 Devon Rec off (Ref 10-1A)..
  • --- Map: Ordnance Survey. Various. Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) . 1904 1:2500 Devon Sheet 2:15..
  • --- Map: Ordnance Survey. Various. Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) . 1:2500 Devon Sheet 2:15..
  • --- Unpublished document: Eardley-Wilmot, H.. 1981. Worksheet in Devon HER. McDonnell, R. in Devon SMR SS 64 NE 53 31-08-82..
  • --- Unpublished document: Eardley-Wilmot, H.. 1981. Worksheet in Devon HER. p 86: Bridle, H. 1991 Woody Bay.
  • --- Aerial photograph: SAINSBURY, ISS. Aerial photograph. RAF 106G/UK1655 11-Jul-46 3159-60..
  • --- Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. Sainsbury, I.S. 7-Jun-93 RCHME Field Investigation..
  • --- Archive: Exmoor National Park National Mapping Programme: SS 64 NE. MD002172.


No mapped location recorded.


Grid reference Not recorded
Map sheet Not recorded

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 17939
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 915627

Record last edited

Jan 19 2011 2:14PM


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