MSO11555 - Medieval shrunken village at Yearnor (Monument)


A small hamlet was visible on aerial photographs and the 1841 Porlock Tithe Map, with holdings recorded as being named Yearner Stowey, Ridlers and Clayers. Earthworks in the vicinity have been ascribed to medieval settlement remains.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A series of banks and surface irregularities were visible on aerial photographs, centering on Yearnor Farm. [1-3] Aston speculated in 1977 that there may have been two further farms at this location. [4] The 1841 Porlock Tithe map shows Yearnor as being much larger with holdings called Yearner, Yearner Stowey, Ridlers and Clayers. It was clearly a small hamlet. [5,6] Yearnor was a manor at the time of King John and is mentioned before 1400. King John afforested the manor. [7] The medieval shrunken village is not clearly visible on aerial photographs, although there are some anomalous earthwork features to the south of the Yearnor Farm, centred SS 8478 4760. It is unclear where the series of banks referred to are located. [8-9] The settlement had reduced in size between the publication of the Porlock Tithe Map and the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map so that only a few buildings survived in the northern area of the settlement, in the area ascribed to Yearner and Yearner Stowey; at this point, the settlement is simply named Yearnor. This layout is again repeated on the 2nd Edition Map but the buildings have again been scaled back since this date, with some of them apparently replaced by a larger modern agricultural building to the north of the site. [6,10-12] The site was visited in January 1997. It was suggested the house may contain a piece of an ancient one and had a slate hung elevation and big end chimney breast. A barn to the north of the farmhouse had been converted. Below and separate were the remains of a yard with two ranges of plain and pleasant 19th Century buildings, with the other side of the yard had apparently been demolished to allow the creation of a 20th Century covered yard. [13]

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 8447.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. CPE/UK/1980 4029 (April 1947).
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Aerial photograph reference number . SPCD/HSL/UK/71-178 Run 85, 9338 (Sept 1971).
  • <4> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. M Aston, Somerset County Council, 11 November 1977.
  • <5> Article in serial: Aston, M. 1983. Deserted Farms on Exmoor and the Lay subsidy of 1327 in West Somerset. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society. 127. 98.
  • <6> Map: Cox, J. W.C.. 1841. Porlock Tithe Map and Apportionment. 13.3 inches : 1 mile.
  • <7> Article in serial: Everett, S. 1968. ...Three Exmoor Parishes. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society. 112. 58-9.
  • <8> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/72065 101-102 (15 April 1972).
  • <9> Verbal communication: Dickson, Amanda D. 2007-2009. RCHME/EH Aerial Photographers Comment (Severn Estuary NMP). 12 April 2007.
  • <10> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <11> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <12> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap.
  • <13> Report: Schofield, J.. 1997. Exmoor Farmsteads: An evaluation of old steadings within Exmoor National Park. Farm reference 83.



Grid reference Centred SS 848 477 (524m by 437m) (Aerial survey)
Map sheet SS84NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor Farmsteads Survey 1996-1997 (2/3): 83
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO7895
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NW23
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 35930
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33951

Record last edited

Aug 17 2020 12:23PM


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