MSO6711 - Prescott Farm (Monument)


A medieval farmstead known as Prescott is implied by the Lay Subsidy of 1327. Both Higher and Lower Prescott are shown on the Tithe Map of 1840 and are named Higher and Lower "Priscott" on later mapping.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

The deserted farmstead of Prescott is indicated in the 1327 Lay Subsidy by the entry (under Cutcombe) of Adam de Prestecote [1], but this may not refer to this site. The 1840 Tithe Map [2] shows a farm area of Lower Prescott, but does not indicate a homestead. It probably lay below the present Higher Prescott Farm, where small enclosures survive. [3] There is a collection buildings and small enclosures shown on the 1962 map. The site is labelled Prescott. [4] The site shows up well on aerial photographs as a close group of small irregular enclosures with five standing buildings. It may be a small medieval settlement. The Ordnance Survey map names the site "Prescott". Banks and lush marked ditches extend to the nroth and west. [5-7] This may be the site of the parish vicarage. [8] The farmsteads of Higher and Lower Prescott are clearly shown on the Tithe Map for Exford. Higher Prescott includes a linear house (at SS 8595 3932) with a parallel range at SS 8594 3932; these are labelled 41 and the site also includes gardens (35, at SS 8592 3937 and 44, at SS 8591 3925) and orchards (42, at SS 8597 3932). The site was owned by Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, Baronet and occupied by Richard Thorne. Lower Prescott includes buildings labelled 586 at SS 8593 3926 and SS 8594 3921 (described as "Lower Prescott Barton" on the Apportionment), with a garden labelled 587 at SS 8593 3923. This part of the complex was owned by Thomas Hole but was again occupied by Richard Thorne. [2] The 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map shows the site with the two linear buildings depicted on the Tithe Map (the farmhouse and parallel range) much reduced in size. The farmsteads were then labelled Higher and Lower "Priscott". This arrangement is echoed on the 2nd Edition map and since this was surveyed, most of the buildings appear to have been removed, with only two (at SS 8594 3930 and SS 8594 3928) apparently still extant. [9-11] A description of the site was given to the surveyor as part of the Exmoor Farmsteads survey in February 1997. "The" house and buildings were said to be roofless and derelict (the roof of the house having fallen in 4 years previously), with a rapid and total disappearance of walls. It was said that the site was "by all accounts an ancient and interesting place", with "excellent" enclosures and setting. [12] Hamilton suggests that Prescott may have been a priest's cottage. It had an ancient wooden round headed arch over the doorway; he includes a drawn illustration in his text. N.B. The doorframe is similar to examples seen in Porlock Weir, Porlock and Dunster. [13,14] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [15]

Sources/Archives (15)

  • <1> Monograph: Dickenson, F.H.. 1889. Kirby's Quest for Somerset. Somerset Record Society. Series 3. P.247-248.
  • <2> Map: 1840. Exford Tithe Map and Apportionment. Land parcels 41, 42, 44, 586, 587.
  • <3> Article in serial: Aston, M.. 1983. Deserted Farmsteads on Exmoor and the Lay Subsidy of 1327 in West Somerset. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 127. P.90, 92.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560. SS83NE.
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF LHL CPE.UK.1980 4310 (April 1947).
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. HSL/UK/71-178 85/9330 (September 1971).
  • <7> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS8539A.
  • <8> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. M Aston, Somerset County Council, 8 December 1977.
  • <9> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <10> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <11> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap.
  • <12> Report: Schofield, J.. 1997. Exmoor Farmsteads: An evaluation of old steadings within Exmoor National Park. Farm reference 229.
  • <13> Monograph: Hamilton, C.M.. 1953. A history of Exford. N/A. 1st Edition. 24, illustration on 23.
  • <14> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 31 July 2019.
  • <15> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35734, Extant 21 September 2021.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor Farmsteads Survey 1996-1997 (Unknown): 229
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11274
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 NE20
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35734
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33615



Grid reference Centred SS 859 392 (109m by 239m) Historic mapping
Map sheet SS83NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Sep 21 2021 12:35PM


Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.