MSO12346 - Possible 19th Century trial area for Blackland Mine, or post-medieval routeways west of Chibbet Ford (Monument)


The site is recorded as a trial area for Blackland Iron Mine, which operated in the late 19th Century. However, much of the earthwork features thought to support this interpretation may infact be a series of historic routeways.

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Type and Period (4)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

"Old iron mine" printed on 1903 Ordnance Survey map. N.B. Can’t be seen on current HER copy of map. [1,8] This was a trial area for the Blackland Mine (MSO11725), now ploughed. [2] Aerial photography of the site shows a series of irregular quarried depressions and terracing along the western side of Pennycombe. The larger irregular depression west of Chibbet Ford (SS 8362 3757) is marked on historic Ordnance Survey mapping as a quarry [1,3]. There is also a short length of bank or wall noted. [3-6] The Tithe Map for Exford shows a trackway crossing the site, leaving the road to the northeast at SS 8359 3763 and taking a circuitous, S shaped route (presumably following the contours on the ground), passing through c. SS 8349 3761 and SS 8351 3753 before leaving the area at SS 8336 3743. While this routeway had been altered by the time the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map was surveyed, part of the route (at SS 8350 3754, about 75 metres in length) is shown as an earthwork cutting. On the 1st and 2nd Edition maps, the route being in the same place but appears to head slightly further to the west (SS 8347 3761) before turning south, passing through SS 8348 3753 before curving off to leave the area at SS 8335 3736. [1,3,7] It is noticeable that the earthworks transcribed by McDonnell [6] largely appear to replicate the routeways of the two trackways shown passing through the site on historic mapping [1,3,7]. It is therefore not clear whether these do represent mining remains or if the trial area for the mine [2] was actually sited elsewhere, perhaps to the east across Pennycombe Water (MEM23820). [8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1903, 45(11).
  • <2> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. M Aston, July 1976, Somerset County Council.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. CPE/UK/1980 3318 (April 1947).
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. HSL/UK/71-178.
  • <6> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS8337a.
  • <7> Map: 1840. Exford Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <8> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 5 April 2017.



Grid reference Centred SS 8349 3750 (333m by 353m) Estimated from sources
Map sheet SS83NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35534

Record last edited

Dec 8 2021 1:46PM


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