MSO6989 - Hoaroak Hill Sheepfold (Monument)

Summary

A large circular sheepfold, north east of Hoar Oak Hill is visible as a substantial earthwork.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

SS7457 4313. A sheepfold shown and annotated 'Sheepfold' on the 1890 Ordnance Survey map. (5) It is set on a slight shelf, about 360 metres above OD, on a northeast-facing slope in an area of rough grass and bracken. It is 18 metres in diameter within a turf bank 3 metres wide and up to 1.1 metres high. The turf has come from a surrounding external ditch about 2 metres wide and 0.5 metres deep. There is a causewayed entrance about 1 metres wide at the northwest. It is reminiscent of sheep stells in the Scottish Borders and probably dates from the late 19th century when it was introduced to the moor by the Scottish shepherds brought in by Frederick Knight. Published Survey 1:2500 accepted. (1) The circular sheepfold, as described above, is clearly visible on aerial photographs. (2,6+7) According to Burton, Robert Little, a shepherd from Dumfries-shire employed by Frederic Knight in the mid-19th century, mentions the construction of circular sheep stells as an inexpensive method of farming sheep in his notebook in 1879. It seems likely that he introduced this particular technique to Exmoor, perhaps as a direct result of the adverse weather conditions in 1878, in which many sheep were lost on Exmoor. (3) Small circular banked enclosure with entrance in North West corner. (4) This site is mentioned in the 2013 report by Hazel Riley, a field survey and synthesis of previous projects in the Hoaroak Valley, funded by the Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership Scheme. [9]

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. Sainsbury, I. S. 16/09/1994.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. 106G/UK/1501 3221-22. 13/05/1946.
  • <3> Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. P.119-120.
  • <4> Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 7473.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 3078.
  • <7> Aerial photograph: 1990. DAP QM5-7 SCED.
  • <8> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182.
  • <9> Report: Riley, H.. 2013. Hoaroak Valley: Historic landscape survey and analysis. 34.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7456 4313 (44m by 44m)
Map sheet SS74SW
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Related Articles (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO299
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10968
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW79
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 895579
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33107

Record last edited

Dec 4 2013 4:40PM

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