MMO3239 - Post-medieval peat cutting south of Long Holcombe (Monument)


A large area of peat cutting, of probable post-medieval date, is visible as numerous small pits and irregular earthworks on aerial photographs.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A large 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 13 hectares. The earthworks are centred on SS 7746 3472 and are of a variety of shapes and sizes, from square pits measuring 4 metres across, to less regularly shaped, curved pits up to 40 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 the north on Long Holcombe. [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] A walkover survey of Verney's Allotment by Cornwall Council Archaeology revealed that this area of peat cutting was more extensive and continues towards the east. They identfied the following specific peat cuttings: - SS 77932 34740: An area of disturbed ground, with level areas defined primarily by vegetation changes. Probable peat cuttings. - SS 77798 34737: An area of probable former peat cutting is represented by a sub-oval hollow approximately 6m by 5m and up to 0.3m deep, with some slight mounding downslope. - SS 77613 34893: An area of probable peat cutting in the form of a hollowed area 12m by 7m and 0.3m deep. - SS 77592 34946: An area of probable former peat cutting in the form of a slightly hollowed area 9m by 6m. - SS 77445 34932: Peat cutting, a well-defined rectangular cut 5.5m by 2m and up to 0.2m deep. - SS 77458 34921: Peat cutting, a rectangular cut 7m by 1.2m and up to 0.2m deep. - SS 77455 34900: An amorphous area of disturbed ground probably representing traces of former peat cutting. - SS 78007 34436: Peat cutting 9m by 2m and up to 0.2m deep. - SS 77772 34344: A rectangular peat cutting, 9m by 2m and 0.2m deep. - SS 77592 34542: A rectangular peat cutting, 6m by 1m and 0.1m deep. - SS 77566 34542: A rectangular peat cutting 16m by 7m, 0.1m deep. - SS 77293 34700: A rectangular cutting, 6m by 1.3 and 0.15m deep, with spoil mounded irregularly along both of the longer sides. - SS 77635 34322: A disturbed area with several small sub-rectangular surface cuttings with sides 3-4m long. [5] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [6]

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73086 764-65 (17 April 1973).
  • <2> Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. P. 232-33.
  • <3>XY Archive: English Heritage. 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 SE. MD002195. [Mapped feature: #38894 ]
  • <4> Report: Riley, H.. 2014. Turf Cutting on Exmoor: An archaeological and historical study - project report.
  • <5> Report: Kirkham, G. and Taylor, S.. 2008. Exmoor Mire Restoration Project: Archaeological Survey on Moorland Areas at Alderman's Barrow Allotment, Blackpitts-Exe Head, North Twitchen, Roosthitchen and Verney's Allotment. Cornwall County Council Historic Environment Service (Projects). p. 17-18; no. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 18, 19, 24, 29.
  • <6> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1492884, Extant 28 September 2021.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 SE98
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1492884



Grid reference Centred SS 7766 3463 (809m by 695m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS73SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Sep 28 2021 4:59PM


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