MSO10982 - 19th Century sheepfold at East Pinford (Monument)


A 19th Century oval sheepfold encircles a natural mound, which has previously been suggested to be a barrow.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (3)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 8033 4274. A possibly 19th Century sheepfold comprising a suboval bank up to 1.8 metres high with a west entrance. Situated on the valley floor. [1,2] Oval enclosure set in valley. Encloses area of c. 30 metres by 20 metres defined by well preserved grass covered stone wall 1.5 metres high. [3] Entrance 1.3 metres wide on western side. Bank is faced on both sides with stone in traditional slanting style, 1.4 metres high, 2 metres wide at the base and 1.2 metres at the top. Encloses a natural mound or barrow. [4] Called "sheep pen" on 1978 Ordnance Survey 25 inch map. [5] SS 8033 4274. Sheep Pen (NAT) [12] A sheepfold, probably of 19th Century date, centred at SS 8033 4274. It lies close to the junction of two valleys, in a sheltered location on the valley floor. Its precise position is dictated by a mound of natural material or morrraine, which the sheepfold encircles. The sheepfold comprises a suboval enclosure measuring 35.8 metres north to south by 28 metres west to east. It is defined by a well preserved, stone faced bank 2.3 metres wide and 1.2 metres high. There are traces of a quarry/drainage ditch on either side of the bank. The entrance, which is 1.5 metres wide, is defined by well made terminals of the enclosing bank. The interior of the sheepfold is featureless, but is dominated by the natural knoll, which presumably afforded additional shelter for livestock. [13] An oval sheepfold, probably of 19th Century date is intermittently visible on aerial photographs from the 1950s onwards, but is largely obscured from view by vegetation. The fold is defined by a bank up to three metres wide, enclosing an area of approximately 690 square metres. It has been transcribed as part of the Exmoor National Mapping programme. [14,15] Frederick Knight persuaded Scottish shepherds to resettle on Exmoor from around 1868. Robert Tait Little was head shepherd from 1868 to 1898 and was instrumental in introducing the use of sheepfolds or stells. Below Tom's Hill in Long Combe is an oval stell measuring over 35 metres across at its widest point. It is almost twice the size of the others, which may be partly explained by the fact that it encircles a low knoll on the valley floor which provides additional shelter for sheep. A single entrance lies on the west. [16] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [17] The feature is depicted and labelled "Sheep Pen" on the 2021 MasterMap data. [18]

Sources/Archives (20)

  • --- Unpublished document: Exmoor National Park Authority. 2024. Exmoor Local Heritage List assessed by the Panel on 21 February 2024.
  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 540/930 3109 (8 November 1952).
  • <2> Unpublished document: Fletcher, M.J.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 3 February 1975.
  • <3> Unassigned: SMR file 33121.
  • <4> Unassigned: SMR file 33121.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1978. 25" SS8042.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: April 1972. HSL.UK.72-142 Run 81. 0020.
  • <7> Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 8040.
  • <8> Map: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1975. SS84SW(M).
  • <9> Report: McDonnell, R.. 1985. Recommendations for the Management of Archaeological Sites in the Exmoor National Park at Warren, Pinford, Tom's Hill and Hayes Allotment. 53 (site 48).
  • <10> Photograph: 1984. Slide (SCC Planning Department). 3.014.0099.
  • <11> Aerial photograph: 1990. DAP QP2 (1990) SCED.
  • <12> Map: Ordnance Survey. Various. Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) . 1:10,000, 1985.
  • <13> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 15 December 1995.
  • <14> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 8042/5 (DAP 6809/QP/02) (26 March 1990).
  • <14> Unassigned: Committee for Rescue Archaeology in Avon, Gloucestershire and Somerset. 1982. [No title]. 23 June 1982.
  • <15> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SW. MD002184.
  • <16> Monograph: Hegarty, C. and Wilson-North, R.. 2014. The Archaeology of Hill Farming on Exmoor. English Heritage. 1st Edition. p39-49.
  • <17> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36287, Extant 12 July 2021.
  • <18>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap data. 1:2,500. [Mapped feature: #47355 ]

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO179
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO6866
  • Local Heritage List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SW32
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36287
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33121



Grid reference Centred SS 2803 1427 (34m by 42m)
Map sheet SS21SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Mar 4 2024 5:06PM


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