MSO11642 - Herepath or Harepath, Withiel Hill, Treborough (Monument)

Summary

A trackway is visible as multiple re-cuts defined in part by the field banks of a post-medieval field system. It has been equated with the Anglo-Saxon "Hare Path". A minor excavation was undertaken in 1889 by F Sheperd.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A Saxon pathway now forming the parish boundary. A minor excavation was undertaken in 1889 by F. Sheperd. A compacted clay layer was encountered. [1] A pathway known as the `Hare Path' which is recorded as `an ancient road or trackway which ran from the neighbourhood of Bridgewater, passing above Treborough, along Brendon Hill into the heart of Exmoor. This road has been fairly traced until it ran into the lane called Hare Path which leads down into Bushel Bridge....' NB. Anglos Saxon -`Here'- an army, a host. Here path - a road for an army; a road large enough to march soldiers upon. [2] The earthwork remains of a trackway with traces of multiple re-cuts which is defined in part by the field banks of a post-medieval field system, aligned east-west between SS 9889 3543 and 9960 3529. The trackway marks the line of the parish boundary between Treborough/Luxborough and Brompton Regis to the south. There are further traces of trackways to the south-east which may well link up with this track. The trackway was seen as an earthwork and mapped from aerial photographs. [6] MMO936 may be a duplication of this record or may refer to a separate feature that is related to it. [8] The route of the Harepath is recorded in an article in the Exmoor Review. It is stated to be Exmoor's longest prehistoric trackway. From Ralegh's Cross, it led northwesterly to Heath Poult Cross, then Summerway Cross, Bushel Bridge and then to Stone Cross and Hill Head Cross. From here, it may have continued onwards to Birch Cleeve and Moles Chamber, or it may have swung northwards along the ridgeway above Exford to Pittcombe Head and down into Porlock Weir via Worthy Water. The winter route was suggested to run to Dunkery Gate and then on to Bendel's Barrows near Hillhead Cross. [9-11]

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. M Aston, Somerset County Council, 30 January 1978.
  • <2> Serial: Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 1851-. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. Volume 35 (1889), p37-42 (F Small).
  • <3> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. 9835, 9935, 9936 and 9937.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 3334 and 4341.
  • <5> Aerial photograph: September 19. HSL.UK.71-177 Run 93, 8726 and Run 95, 8752.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: September 19. HSL.UK.71-177 Run 99. 8810.
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. CPE/UK/1918/3333-6 (11 April 1947).
  • <8> Verbal communication: Various. 1999-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 28 January 2013.
  • <9> Monograph: Eardley-Wilmot, H.. 1990. Yesterday's Exmoor. Exmoor Books.
  • <10> Serial: Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 1851-. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. Volume 134 (1990) "New light on old travel routes", p187-192 (H Eardley-Wilmot).
  • <11> Serial: Exmoor Society. 1959-present. Exmoor Review. Volume 34 (1993), "A walk along the Harepath", p23-25 (V McMullen, H Eardley-Wilmot).

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 9648 3642 (6322m by 2329m)
Map sheet SS93NE
Civil Parish CUTCOMBE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET
Civil Parish TREBOROUGH, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO1195
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO8363
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO9315
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 93 NE33
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1167678
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34143

Record last edited

Apr 27 2020 2:34PM

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