MSO7042 - Tom's Hill Farm, Great Tom's Hill (Monument)


Tom's Hill model farm was built in 1850 and occupied until the beginning of World War Two, when it was requisitioned for use as a practice target. The remains are visible as heaps of rubble and wall footings.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

At Tom's Hill Farm there are three ranges of buildings grouped around a yard, open on the southern side. The eastern range is composed of mortared walls, 1.5 metres high, with some surviving roof timbers and posts supporting internal divisions. It measures 27 paces by 7 paces. The northern range was the farmhouse, but has been shelled rather than allowed to decay. Remains include roof timbers and black glazed ridge tiles, but is a mound of rubble. The western range is best preserved with walls up to 3.5 metres high with a porch remaining. The internal divisions can be seen, and the range measures 27 paces by 7 paces. [1] The substantial banks topped with beech hedges delimit a western enclosure, with sub-divisions suggesting garden plots. [2] Tom's Hill is shown on the 1962 Ordnance Survey map. [3] The farm was built by the Knight family in 1850, at a cost of £512, with land totalling 300 acres. It was requisitioned in the 1940s as an artillery range. [4] The remains of Tom's Hill farmhouse are at SS 8114 4305. They consist of heaps of stone rubble and wall footings, with collapsed roof timbers visible in places poking up through the debris. The farm was built in the mid 19th Century by the Knight family and was occupied until the beginning of World War Two, when the area was requisitioned by the army for artillery practice, and the farmhouse used as a target. Tom's Hill comprised a model farm with the farmhouse forming the north side of a courtyard. Ranges of outbuildings formed the west and east sides, and the south was formed by the adjoining lane. The west range is best preserved, with walls still standing to 1.6 metres high. [8] In the 1860s shepherds and their families lived in the farm, as they had been brought from Scotland by Frederic Knight. [10] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [11] The site is depicted and labelled on the 25 inch 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map. [12] The heritage asset was assessed for inclusion on the Exmoor Local Heritage List in February 2024. It was noted that it has distinctive design being similar in design to other Knight farms on Exmoor with house at one end of a courtyard of outbuildings. It has high historical association with known occupants and links to Knights. It is also deemed to have high social communal value being a well known site on Exmoor, located on a well-used public footpath. It has high collective value with other buildings on the Knight Estate. It was decided to add the asset to the Local Heritage List. [13]

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. R McDonnell, 23 June 1982.
  • <2> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. R McDonnell, 5 July 1982.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560. SS84SW.
  • <4> Monograph: Orwin, C.S. + Sellick, R.J.. 1970. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. David and Charles Limited. 2nd Edition. P.83.
  • <5> Article in serial: Burrow, I., Minnitt, S. and Murless, B.. 1982. Somerset Archaeology 1981. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 126. 69-91. P.82.
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Griffith, F.. 1980s-1990s. Oblique aerial photographs of the Devon part of Exmoor National Park. DAP/UA3, 4. 1991.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. R Wilson-North and J Best, 12 July 1996.
  • <9> Article in serial: Wilson-North, R.. 2005/2006. Larkbarrow - Fact, Folly and Failure. Exmoor Visitor.
  • <10> Leaflet: 2013. Larkbarrow, Exmoor: Exmoor moorland archaeology walks series. Exmoor National Park Authority.
  • <11> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 975005, Extant 6 July 2021.
  • <12>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 1854-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. [Mapped feature: #47334 ]
  • <13> Unpublished document: Exmoor National Park Authority. 2024. Exmoor Local Heritage List assessed by the Panel on 21 February 2024.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10954
  • Local Heritage List Status (Listed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SW91
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 975005
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33093



Grid reference Centred SS 2811 1431 (166m by 151m)
Map sheet SS21SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Related Articles (2)

Record last edited

Apr 22 2024 6:48PM


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