MSO7079 - Post-medieval building on Winstitchen (Monument)


Post-medieval building remains are said to have been a pair of cottages known as Slate Rock in 1841 and as Cow Castle in 1851. These were abandoned by 1871.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A pair of cottages known as Slate Rock in 1841, and Cow Castle in 1851. These were most likely abandoned by 1871. [1] The remains of a building are centred at SS 7956 3794 on the western side of White Water. The building is shown as a rectangular roofless structure on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map dating to 1889, with a central forward projection on the southern side; but its original extent and shape is no longer traceable on the ground. A 4.2 metre long length of the northern wall survives to a height of 1.7 metres and is 0.7 metres thick. Returns are visible to the south at either end. To the east, a rough scarp indicates the former position of the south wall of the structure and marks the original extent of the building platform. On the platform immediately to the east of the surviving parts of the building is a square stone built base, 1.1 metres across and 0.45 metres high, which has a central socket 0.35 metres square. Adjacent to it on the east is an upright stone slab, 0.45 metres high, 0.8 metres long and 0.15 metres thick. The function of both is uncertain. The proximity of this building to the spoil heap (MSO6919) and the Picked Stones Iron Mine (MSO6918) suggests that it was reused in connection with mining activities, perhaps as a store, after its abandonment by 1871. [2-4] The cottages consisted of a living room and 2 bedrooms all on the ground floor. Orwin and Sellick record these as miners’ cottages, which were converted from cattle sheds. [5] The outline of the cottage is barely discernible on aerial photographs, but a rectangular platform is visible. [6, 7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Monograph: Orwin, C.S. + Sellick, R.J.. 1970. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. David and Charles Limited. 2nd Edition. 198.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889. Somerset sheet XLV 10..
  • <3> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. Wilson-North, R. 28/10/1994.
  • <4> Survey: Picked Stones Mine/ink survey . 1:2500. General: Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <5> Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. 74.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 543/2821 (F62) 166-167. 27/04/1964.
  • <7> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NE. MD002190.



Grid reference Centred SS 7956 3793 (41m by 42m)
Map sheet SS73NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO467
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12515
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NE69
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1029834
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35717

Record last edited

Jul 11 2018 3:13PM


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