MSO11670 - Medieval or post-medieval field system on Staddon Hill (Monument)


An extensive relict field system of medieval or post-medieval origin is visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards as earthworks on Staddon Hill.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Low banks on Staddon Hill forming fairly rectangular fields, all of which appear to have been ploughed and show ridge and furrow ploughing. [1-3] An extensive relict field system of medieval or post-medieval origin is visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards as earthworks on Staddon Hill. The field system covers an area of approximately 75 hectares centred on circa SS 8828 3748. The wider system includes both straight and curvilinear elements, although it is likely the latter simply reflects the topographic constraints of Staddon Hill and do not necessarily indicate a medieval strip field origin. This may be illustrated by a rectilinear field enclosure that occupies the same spur as Staddon Hill Camp and in fact incorporates both the enclosure and an outworks into its perimeter. To the south and northwest of the field system, straight boundaries clearly form part of the wider, extant field pattern, indicating a probable post-medieval date for the enclosure activity. Ridge and furrow can be seen across much of the field system. Although slightly curved in plan, the width between ridges varies between 2 and 5 metres, the narrowness of the rig supporting an interpretation of a post-medieval date. In addition, although some does appear to lie within or respect the boundaries, the most extensive and continuous furrows can be seen to cross one or more of the boundary banks, often in two directions, potentially providing evidence for cross ploughing of the boundaries following the abandonment of the field system. The cross ploughing does not appear to cross Staddon Hill Camp, but has affected the outer of the two outworks which was incorporated into the field system. None of the transcribed elements are on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map, supporting the interpretation that the field system was abandoned some time prior to 1890. [2,4-6] The area is shown as open ground on Winsford Tithe Map apart from a track from Staddon Farm to Ashcombe which is not shown on the aerial photograph transcriptions (1839). [7] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: September 19. HSL.UK.71-177 Run 87, 8629 and Run 89, 8663.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 3308 - 3311.
  • <3> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS8737B, SS8837A.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. ENPA JAS 85042 037-8 (29 August 1985).
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890.
  • <6>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 NE. MD002192. [Mapped feature: #34373 ]
  • <7> Map: 1839. Winsford Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <8> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1485197, Extant 21 September 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 883 374 (1665m by 1047m) With reference to SEM7406
Map sheet SS83NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO2860
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 NE137
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1485197
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34228

Record last edited

Sep 21 2021 3:17PM


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