MMO490 - (Monument)


A fragmentary relict field system and some field clearance mounds lie on Ilkerton Ridge centred at SS 7299 4459. The features date from the post-medieval period.

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Type and Period (3)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

SS7234 4454 An alleged prehistoric field system described by Earley-Wilmot (1) in 1981 as covering about 100yds by 50yds and consisting of 'various low stone and earth walls, about 3-5ft wide and 6" high. A higher western wall may be a double wall. There is also a small standing stone, a circular platform and several small conical mounds. (Sketch plan) SS7234 4454 This field system was also reported by Preece (2). Further shallow banks noted to the E, one of which includes a small sub-oval feature which may be a gateway. Preece suggests that Eardley-Wilmot's 'double wall' may be a single robbed and scattered wall and the site may be a prehistoric field system or a medieval stock enclosure with a possible counting gate.(Sketch plan). SS7234 4454. No field system could be seen at the reference given or elsewhere in the vicinity. The only feature that could be described as 'low stone and earth walls' was at SS 7227 4458 where there are two linear turf and heather covered mounds with a stony content. The southern one is 6m NNW/SSE by 3m; 4m to the north is a parallel mound, 11m by 3m. There is a slight southern 'lynchet like' extension of the eastern side of this northern mound which combined with the southern mound may have been interpreted erroneously as a double wall. The gap between the two mounds may have been interpreted as a 'gateway'. The purpose, or period of the mounds is not clear. No standing stone, circular platform or small sub-oval feature could be seen however there are a few irregular stony mounds which may be attempts at clearance but these could be natural features. (1-3) The relict field system is difficult to discern in an area of dense heather and gorse. Three sides of a field were surveyed, enclosing the north, west and east sides of a field measuring perhaps 100m by 100m. The field boundaries are low, stony, heather covered banks some 4m wide and 0.5m high. On the south and east sides of the relict field system are groups of field clearance mounds. These are quite substantial features, comprising circular, stony mounds, 3-4.9m in diameter and 0.3-0.5m in height. Two of these mounds, at SS 7240 4459 and SS 72443 4458 were interpreted as barrows by Hazel Eardley-Wilmot (Devon HER SS 74 SW 68). The form of the relict field system and the clearance mounds and their location close to existing enclosure suggests that they are not prehistoric in origin but relate to the enclosure of this area in the historic period. Such features are difficult to date. The nearest settlement is Folly, a smallholding in 1838 but "in ruins" by 1891 (Tithe map and apportionment, Lynton, 1838; Ordnance Survey 1st edition map, Somerset 32 SE 1891). The layout of the relict field system corresponds with the western edge of the Folly smallholding and it may well be associated with an abandoned attempt to enclose more land for this holding. Such an enterprise is difficult to date but the name "Folly" suggests a fairly late date, perhaps in the 17th or 18th centuries. The Ordnance Survey map of 1804-5 of the area does not show Folly or its holding, suggesting that it may date from the early 19th century, although the mapping on this document can be somewhat schematic, particularly in more remote areas (OS two-inch drawing no. 33, 1804-5). Furzehill is a much older settlement, mentioned as early as 1199 (Trans Devons Assoc 38, 113-68), and the location of Folly and its relict field, at the southernmost edge of enclosure, suggests it was laid out at a late date in the sequence of enclosure. Two upright stones were located in this area by Hazel Eardley-Wilmot. The larger of the two stones was named the Sheepstone by its discoverer. It lies within an area of relict field system at SS 7229 4459. The second stone lies at SS 7233 4464 by the junction of two relict field banks and close to track. The measurements are set out below. Stone Length Width height Sheepstone 65cm 23cm 32cm By field corner 40cm 20cm 6cm Hazel Eardley-Wilmot also noted a group of five prone stones (Devon HER SS 74 SW 68). The stones lie at SS 7241 4459, close to a track and do not appear to be part of any archaeological feature. The features were recorded at a scale of 1: 10 000 using differential GPS by the EH AS&I team (Exeter) (4). The field system described above could not be seen on aerial photographs due to dense vegetation in the area. However, two small mounds are visible at SS 7243 4444 and SS 7245 4443, measuring approximately 9-10 metres cross. They resemble field clearance mounds, and are likely related to the field system described (5).

Sources/Archives (6)

  • --- Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/72314 282-83 16-AUG-1972.
  • --- Unpublished document: Eardley-Wilmot, H.. 1981. Worksheet in Devon HER. Sainsbury I S 8-SEP-94 RCHME Field Investigation.
  • --- Unpublished document: Eardley-Wilmot, H.. 1981. Worksheet in Devon HER. Preece A in Devon SMR SS 74 SW 69 3-SEP-92.
  • --- Unpublished document: Eardley-Wilmot, H.. 1981. Worksheet in Devon HER. Eardley-Wilmot H in Devon SMR SS 74 SW 69. 3-SEP-92.
  • --- Unpublished document: Riley, H.. Field Investigators Comments. Riley, H 2007 EH Field Investigation.
  • --- Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182.



Grid reference Centred SS 7244 4443 (27m by 15m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 14131
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1043708

Record last edited

Feb 3 2011 12:28PM


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