MMO441 - Medieval field system at Culver Lane (Monument)


A large number of well preserved medieval strip lynchets and field boundaries can be seen as earthworks. Areas of levelled ridge and furrow ploughing can also be seen on aerial photographs, suggesting a medieval date.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Earthworks of lynchets are visible in low sunlight. [1-4] The earthworks of lynchets were identified by Mick Aston and recorded in the county SMR (PRN 34266). Two lynchets lie at ST 0105 4130, in an improved pasture field. They extend for about 200 metres across the hillside with 15 metres between the lynchets, which are about 1 metre high. Three lynchets lie in improved pasture, on a very steep slope, centred at ST 0120 4130. They are 8 to 10 metre apart and some 1 to 1.6 metres high. A flight of three lynchets are centred at ST 0140 4110. They lie on a very steep slope and are 1.8 metres high and 6 metres apart. The lynchets are preserved as field boundaries, giving two very long, narrow strip fields. All of the above are accessed via Culver Lane, a very steep and deep hollow way, which runs from the village of Withycombe up to the commons of Withycombe Hill. [5] The lynchets described above are clearly visible on aerial photographs, situated on the north side of Culver Lane, Withycombe. Additional features can also be seen on the south side of the lane, centred at approximately ST 0083 4122. These are less well preserved, and are best viewed on oblique photography. A number of curvilinear, S shaped lynchets are visible, the majority running north to south. In places they are cut by narrow boundaries running east to west. An area of levelled ridge and furrow ploughing can be seen south of these, centred at ST 0094 4102, along with several irregular narrow banks. It seems likely that this area was extensively exploited during the medieval period, before being utilised for gravel extraction during the post-medieval period (MMO2470). [6-8] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [9]

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <2> Photograph: Somerset County Council Planning Department. Slide. 3.041.0029 (March 1984).
  • <2> Unassigned: Aston, M. 22.03.76. Somerset County Council. M Aston, Somerset County Council, 22 March 1976.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Meridian Air Maps. 1981. Infrared False Colour Aerial Photography. 4955 (16 August 1984).
  • <4> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. ST0141a.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Various. 1999-. English Heritage/Historic England Field Investigator's Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 1999.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/70386 328-29 (25 September 1970).
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR ST 0041/13 (18605/10) (12 October 1999).
  • <8>XY Archive: Toms, K.. 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: ST 04 SW. MD002176. [Mapped feature: #32381 ]
  • <9> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 975418, Extant 30 May 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11707
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO8647
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: ST 04 SW33
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 975418
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34266



Grid reference Centred ST 0098 4122 (655m by 686m) Incorporates area identified by SEM7406
Map sheet ST04SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

May 31 2022 9:04AM


Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.