MSO10401 - Post-medieval peat cuttings north of Warren Farm (Monument)


A large area of post-medieval peat cutting is visible as numerous small pits and irregular earthworks. It may have been extracted for domestic fuel, or for turfing enclosure walls, and were most likely abandoned in the late 19th or 20th Century.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A large area of peat cutting, of probable post medieval date, is visible on aerial photographs as numerous small pits and irregular earthworks to the north of Warren Farm, Exmoor, covering an area of approximately 17 hectares. The earthworks are centred on approximately SS 7965 4121 and are of a variety of shapes and sizes, from square pits measuring 5-6 metres across, to less regularly shaped, curved pits up to 100 metres across. It is not clear whether the peat was extracted for domestic fuel or for turfing enclosure walls, but given the proximity of Warren Farm, which was purpose-built by the Knight family in the 19th century, the latter seems more likely. Due to the vast number of pits visible on aerial photographs, only a representative sample has been transcribed, indicating distribution and form. Peat cutting is known to have continued on Exmoor until very recently, and may continue in places. Similar areas are visible to. [1-4] Shallow rectangular peat cuttings on a ridge to the north and north east of Warren Farm. The cuttings generally measure between 0.15 metres and 0.3 metres deep and up to 15 metres on any side. Condition fairly uneroded. [5] A study of the archaeology and history of peat exploitation on Exmoor’s moorlands provides additional background on the practice and sites. [6] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [7] SS 7935 4146. Turf pits for Honeymead Farm House and Picked Stones Farm. [8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Monograph: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 2001. The Field Archaeology of Exmoor. English Heritage. p 47, 143.
  • <2> Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. P. 232-33.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK 1980. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. 3086. 3159-60 (11 April 1947).
  • <4> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SE. MD002183.
  • <5> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Western Archaeological Trust, 11 March 1983.
  • <6> Report: Riley, H.. 2014. Turf Cutting on Exmoor: An archaeological and historical study - project report.
  • <7> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1475450, Extant 2 June 2021.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Wills, G.. Unknown. Location of turf pits within the parishes of Exmoor & Brendon.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO2308
  • Local Heritage List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE157
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1475450
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 18812



Grid reference Centred SS 7962 4122 (857m by 394m)
Map sheet SS74SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Related Articles (1)

Record last edited

Nov 30 2022 4:25PM


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