MSO10391 - Peat Cutting, Elsworthy (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
- None recorded
Shallow and eroded rectangular peat cuttings, up to 0.5 metres deep, but generally much less, occur on nearly all parts of Elsworthy and the ridge to the west. The cuttings vary from small, 5 by 5 metres, to long cuttings that are up to 60 metres in length. These features are much more extensive than the aerial photographic evidence suggests. All these features occur on the Ashcombe soil series. (1) An extensive area of peat cutting of probable 19th century date can be seen as irregularly shaped pits and disturbed ground on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards, centred on circa SS 80544114. The most clearly visible pits vary in size from less than 5 metres in length to almost 200 metres long, and probably represent the deepest features. The longest pits are clearly opportunistically exploiting the excavations of the failing drainage system to gain access to the peat, and therefore were probably cut during the second half of the 19th century. More extensive but shallower workings are probably present, but are visible only as a disturbed ground surface. Due to the difficult nature of this evidence, which can vary in appearance on aerial photographs from year to year, the transcription attempts only to convey the area and general character of the clearest excavations, and should not be taken as a definitive indicator of the extent of the peat cuttings. (3-5) A study of the archaeology and history of peat exploitation on Exmoor’s moorlands provides additional background on the practice and sites. 
- <1> SSO2093 Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor National Park Field Survey. 29/11/1982.
- <2> SSO388 Aerial photograph: 1946. RAF Black and White Vertival Aerial Phoograph.
- <3> SMO7567 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SW. MD002184.
- <4> SEM6707 Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3162. 11/04/1947.
- <5> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 979-80. 29/04/1973.
- <6> SEM8135 Report: Riley, H.. 2014. Turf Cutting on Exmoor: An archaeological and historical study - project report.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 8054 4120 (1095m by 375m) (Estimated from sources)|
|Civil Parish||EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (1)
Related Events/Activities (0)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1477898 (Pastscape entry: 1477898)
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO2480
- National Park: Exmoor National Park
- Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1477898
- Somerset SMR PRN: 18801
Record last edited
Aug 18 2015 2:48PM
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