MSO7060 - Two post-medieval prospecting pits at Burcombe (Monument)


Two post-medieval mineral prospecting pits are visible as hollows with associated spoil heaps on aerial photographs taken in 1964. These appear to have been disused by 1889.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Centred at SS 7522 3877 is a circular hollow depicted on the Ordnance Survey 1st Edition mapping. The feature lies on the north facing slopes of Burcombe and comprises a sub-triangular hollow measuring 11 metres in overall diameter and 3.5 metres deep. A spoil mound 2.5 metres high lies on the downslope or northern side. The feature is probably a prospecting pit or trial working. [1,2] The feature described above is clearly visible on aerial photographs on the north facing slopes of Burcombe. A second oval pit and spoil heap are also visible approximately 130 metres to the west at SS 7509 3877, and it is likely that the two are related. [3,4] The same depiction of earthworks is visible on the 2nd Edition, as on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey mapping; in both cases the earthworks appear to be disused, as they are not annotated. These features are part of a wider landscape of iron workings, known as "The Roman Adit" (MSO6812). [1,5,6] An additional monument polygon was present for this record, centred at SS 7590 3855. This covered the same extent as the monument polygon for a post-medieval adit (MSO7067). As both prospecting pits represented by this record are present within one monument polygon (at SS 7522 3877 and SS 7509 3877), the additional polygon has been deleted. [7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889, Somerset 44(12).
  • <2> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 27 October 1994.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 543/2821 (F63) 172-73 (27 April 1964).
  • <4> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NE. MD002190.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <6> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. S Thorogood, 18 September 2013.
  • <7> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. S Thorogood, 18 October 2013.



Grid reference Centred SS 7514 3877 (195m by 45m)
Map sheet SS73NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO461
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12530
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NE50
  • National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1029611
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35732

Record last edited

Oct 23 2013 4:06PM


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