MSO10957 - Possible prehistoric settlement or stock enclosure on Wester Emmetts (Monument)


An irregular shaped enclosure. A significant build-up of peat suggests it could be the remains of a prehistoric settlement or stock enclosure.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Subrectangular enclosure seen on aerial photographs linked to a short bank or ditch. Fragments of irregular enclosure enclosed by a bank containing a high proportion of quartz boulders. Southwest corner is best preserved with banks c. 1 metre high. No visible entrance. [2] SS 744 376. An irregularly shaped enclosure, first noted on aerial photographs, was recorded in the field in 198 on the ridge to the northnortheast of Kinsford Cottages at Wester Emmetts. The feature encloses approximately 1.5 hectares and is defined by very low banks and vegetational changes. No entrance was discernible. Both the air photographs and the field assessment suggest an irregular rectangular feature attached to the interior northwest side. [4] SS 7431 3755. An irregular shaped enclosure situated, at about 450 metres above Ordnance Datum, on a gentle south facing slope on a ridge at Wester Emmets. It is heavily overgrown by peat and turf which have made its original outline and features now barely discernible. It measures about 90 metres north to south by 69 metres within a low earth and stone bank about 5 metres wide at best and 0.7 metres maximum height. Due to the peat build up this bank is reduced, in the main, to an inner facing scarp in the northwest and an outer facing scarp around the southeast. No trace of an entrance could be seen. The silted interior is lush long grass. An amorphous area of rough ground in the northeast may be the remains of an associated feature but it is very difficult to make out any specific details. Several white quartz stones can be seen protruding through the turf; one in the bank in the north is 0.9 metres by 0.4 metres and 0.3 metres high, and a second outside the enclosure in the northeast is 0.8 metres by 0.3 metres and 0.5 metres high. The origin and purpose of the enclosure are not clear. The significant build up of peat suggests it is quite ancient and it could possibly be the remains of a prehistoric settlement or stock enclosure. [5] The enclosure was clearly visible on aerial photographs examined as part of the Exmoor National Park National Mapping Project in 2008. It is strikingly similar in size and form to the larger of the two enclosures on South Common, Lynton And Lynmouth, Devon (see MDE1067), which suggests a possible Bronze Age date for this monument. [6,7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Unassigned: March 1979. NMR OAP 1460,95.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 4446.
  • <3> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R. 1981. Description and paced plan.
  • <4> Article in serial: Burrow, I., Minnitt, S. and Murless, B.. 1982. Somerset Archaeology 1981. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 126. 69-91. 62.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 4 August 1995.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/96507 44-45 (30 March 1996).
  • <7>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NW. MD002189. [Mapped feature: #46666 ]



Grid reference Centred SS 7430 3752 (96m by 86m)
Map sheet SS73NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO63
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO6811
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NW23
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 35066
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33096

Record last edited

Aug 18 2020 4:48PM


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