MMO394 - Post-medieval field systems along the River Exe (Monument)

Summary

Field systems enclosing areas of narrow ridge and furrow are visible on aerial photographs as earthwork banks. They are interpreted as evidence of failed or abandoned enclosure of probable post-medieval date.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Low banks and area of ridge and furrow indicating post-medieval fields. [1-5] See also MSO8524. Cursory examination reveals field banks and traces of ridge and furrow in the area of Room Hill and Road Hill. These presumably mark abandoned attempts to enclose and improve the area. [6] The somewhat fragmentary remains of field boundaries enclosing areas of narrow ridge and furrow are visible on aerial photographs as earthwork banks, centred on circa SS 859 361. The boundaries are the remains of a formerly extensive field system that can be seen to extend for over 100 hectares across steep combe slopes above the River Exe, from Road Hill to the western fringes of Bye Common. The ridge and furrow is most in evidence on the gentler upper slopes of Room Hill and Road Hill, centred on circa SS 8601 3634 and SS 8599 3716 respectively. The fields on Road Hill are noticeably smaller and less regular that those on Room Hill and may be earlier in date. On the lower slopes above the River Exe, several boundary banks are visible, lateral dividing this steeper ground into fields across the contours. Two of these can be seen to abut the corners of an extant field with noticeably curved edges, perhaps indicating that it shares its origin with the relict fields surrounding it. They probably predate the mid 19th century as they are cut by gutters of a field gutter water meadow which is most likely to be of this date. Previously unrecorded but probably part of the same system, or at least movement of enclosure, are further boundaries to the southeast around the head of a small combe towards the western edge of Bye Common, centred on circa SS 8692 3564. These are adjacent to a small enclosure previously interpreted as a possible abandoned farmstead and it is possible they may be contemporary. The earthworks are interpreted as evidence of failed or abandoned enclosure of probable post-medieval date. Two possible circular features have also been recorded as cropmarks in this area. The date and function of both features remains unclear and these have been recorded separately. [4,7-10] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [11]

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. 8536, 8537, 8636, 8637.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 3313, 4353, 4354.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: September 19. HSL.UK.71-177 Run 85. 9328.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: May 1977. ENP MAM IRFC. 12.077, 14.077, 14.086.
  • <5> Aerial photograph: September 19. HSL.UK.71-177 Run 87. 8629-8631.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME field Investigation, 16 September 1997.
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 106G/UK/1655 (F20) 3426-7 11-JUL-1946.
  • <8> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 543/2821 (F62) 156-7 27-APR-1964.
  • <9> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. ENPA, R Wilson-North, SS 8593 7148 (12 November 2006).
  • <10>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 NE. MD002192. [Mapped feature: #32836 ]
  • <11> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 974605, Extant 21 September 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8640 3644 (1719m by 1824m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS83NE
Civil Parish WINSFORD, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET
Civil Parish EXFORD, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11689
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO8572
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 NE45
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 974605
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34248

Record last edited

Sep 21 2021 4:33PM

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