MSO10401 - Peat Cuttings, north of Warren Farm, Exmoor (Monument)

Summary

A large area of peat cutting, of probable post medieval date, is visible as numerous small pits and irregular earthworks on moorland north of Warren Farm, Exmoor. It is not clear whether the peat was extracted for domestic fuel, or for turfing enclosure walls. The cuttings 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 (1-3). 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]

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Monograph: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 2001. The Field Archaeology of Exmoor. English Heritage.
  • <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. 11/04/1947.
  • <4> Unassigned: Western Archaeological Trust. 11/03/1983.
  • <5> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SE. MD002183.
  • <6> Report: Riley, H.. 2014. Turf Cutting on Exmoor: An archaeological and historical study - project report.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 796 412 (857m by 394m)
Map sheet SS74SE
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Related Articles (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO2308
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1475450
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 18812

Record last edited

Jan 4 2017 9:30AM

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