MSO6983 - Post-medieval peat cuttings northwest of Driver Farm (Monument)


Features previously thought to represent an enclosure and prehistoric hut circles or Bronze Age barrows could not be found during field investigation in 1995. They may represent an area of peat cutting and drainage ditches.

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Type and Period (4)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Group of two circular features perhaps hut circles or barrows together with an irregular enclosure. Also some linear features and peat cutting. [1] SS731409. The reference falls on a gentle south facing slope, a damp area of rough grass and rushes with old peat cuttings, wet hollows, linear banks and drainage ditches. There is no trace of this alleged enclosure or circular featues which may be a misinterpretation of peat cuttings or damp hollows. [2] No evidence of an enclosure or hut circles in the area of this reference could be found in the ground, only shallow irregular and small circular peat cutting activity approximately 0.15 metres deep and numerous drainage ditches. Situated in an area of rushes and rough grass on the gentle south facing slopes to the east of Short Combe. [3] A large area of peat cutting, of probable post-medieval date, is visible on aerial photographs as numerous small pits and irregular earthworks on moorland northwest of Driver Farm and north of Goat Hill, covering an area of approximately 2.5 hectares. The earthworks are centred on SS 730 407 and are of a variety of shapes and sizes, from square or rectangular pits measuring 2 to 3 metres across, to less regularly shaped and curved pits up to 40 metres across. Due to the vast number of pits visible on aerial photographs, only a representative sample has been transcribed, indicating distribution and form. Peat cutting is known to have continued on Exmoor until very recently, and may continue in places. Similar areas are visible to the south, and across The Chains to the north. [4-7] A study of the archaeology and history of peat exploitation on Exmoor’s moorlands provides additional background on the practice and sites. [8] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [9]

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Photograph: National Monuments Record OAP SF1460.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 26 June 1995.
  • <3> Survey: Faxon, Keith. 1998. Record card from McDonnell, R. Pinkworthy Estate: An Archaeological Survey for Management Purpose. 19/9/1995.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980 3149-50. 11/04/1947.
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/2082 4106-07. 19/05/1947.
  • <6> Monograph: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 2001. The Field Archaeology of Exmoor. English Heritage. P. 47, 143.
  • <7>XY Archive: English Heritage. 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182. [Mapped feature: #38907 ]
  • <8> Report: Riley, H.. 2014. Turf Cutting on Exmoor: An archaeological and historical study - project report.
  • <9> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 895568, Extant 13 January 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 730 408 (278m by 264m)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO297
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10983
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW72
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 895568
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33122

Record last edited

Jan 13 2022 12:34PM


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