MSO6921 - Post-medieval sheepfold on Great Woolcombe (Monument)


A post-medieval sheepfold is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1973 as earthworks. This site is defined by an earthen bank and broad external ditch, with a single entrance.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A post-medieval sheepfold is visible on Great Woolcombe, centred at approximately SS 7771 3756. [1-3] A square enclosure is seen marked on the 1:2500 and 1:10560 Ordnance Survey maps. The edges of this feature are tree lined. [4,5] This structure is thought likely to have been related to sheep rearing operations undertaken by the Knight family in the 19th Century. [6] Field survey identified the site as a sheepfold measuring 41.5 metres square with a defining earthen bank 0.9 metres high, topped by a grown out beech hedge. There is also a broad external ditch 4 metres wide and 0.3 metres deep. A single entrance 2.3 metres wide is visible on the western end of the southern side of the enclosure. Elsewhere are modern breaks in the bank caused by animal erosion. [7] A short length of bank runs from the southern side of the sheepfold near the entrance as far as the nearby stream, and was probably to control stock. The sheepfold was constructed by Frederic Knight in the mid 19th Century as part of his land improvement measures on Exmoor. [1-3, 8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/76087 615-16 (17 April 1973).
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890.
  • <3> Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. 120.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. Various. Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) . 1:2500, 1978, Somerset SS 77 37.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560. Somerset SS 73 NE.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Eardley-Wilmot, H. March 1980. Eardley-Wilmot, H to Somerset County Council. 4 March 1980.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. 1995, NMR site SS 73 NW 26.
  • <8> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NE. MD002190.



Grid reference Centred SS 7770 3755 (62m by 71m)
Map sheet SS73NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO603
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10990
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NE26
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1099609
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33129

Record last edited

Jan 8 2014 2:44PM


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