MMO554 - Highley deserted farm and mill (Monument)


Ruins of a deserted farm are visible as two groups of ruinous buildings surviving mainly as low walls and banks. A possible site of Waterow Mill is nearb, possibly related to several field gutters or leats visible on vertical aerial photographs.

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Type and Period (4)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Highley is recorded in the Somerset SMR: In 1772 it was a messuage lately called `Siderfins' [1]; in 1842 it was a farm of 36 acres. [2] The SMR account also mentions a demolished mill, called `Waterow Mill' in the area (unspecified), and traces of a leat. [3] A nearby cottage, called `Waterleat Cottage' is also recorded (see NMR No SS 93 NW 63). [4] Ordnance Survey mapping of 1889 shows two groups of buildings at Highley. They are some 25 m apart and are connected by a trackway which curves in a `U' shape between them. [5] Highley Copse is now an area of private forestry. Tree planting and forestry roads have considerably confused the area. However, the two groups of buildings are identifiable at SS 9384 3824 and SS 9387 3823. The former, approached from the south by a double banked trackway, is the better preserved with walls standing to gable height, although much overgrown. The building itself stands on a rocky knoll within the main valley, and thus occupies a seemingly isolated and very unusual position. The second group of buildings are less well preserved with walls mostly surviving as low banks or stone revetments 1 m high. This group lies below the former. Source [5] clearly shows the landscape to have been one of small areas of deciduous woodland separated by areas of poor pasture and improved ground. [6] This area was investigated during the Brendon Hills Mapping Project. Three leats or field gutters were visible on the aerial photographs, one of which runs directly towards the site of the deserted farm and mill and may therefore be the leat described by [1] above. A possible structure is visible at SS 9397 3800. [4]

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Article in serial: Aston, M. 1983. Deserted Farmsteads on Exmoor and the 1327 lay subsidy. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society. 127. 91.
  • <2> Map: 1842. Cutcombe Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 3299-3300.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Eardley-Wilmot, H.. 1981. Worksheet in Devon HER. Somerset CC SMR 29 Sep 1986.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889, Somerset 46.12.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. R Wilson-North 4 Nov 1997 RCHME Field Investigation.
  • <7> Archive: RCHME: Brendon Hills Mapping Project, SS 93 NW. AF1129721.
  • <8> Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 9338.
  • <9> Unassigned: Warren, D. 24.11.77. Somerset Industrial Archaeology Society.



Grid reference Centred SS 9390 3809 (155m by 368m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS93NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11185
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO9267
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 93 NW24
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1089147
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33515

Record last edited

Nov 21 2014 9:56AM


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