MSO7126 - Medieval and post-medieval routeway between Driver Cottages and Exe Head (Monument)


A rough trackway visible in some places formed part of the routeway between Porlock and Barnstaple.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Bridlepath/Packhorse track (Porlock to Barnstaple) SS 7500 4140 to SS 7315 4000. An ancient way from Porlock by Hawkcombe Head, Acmead (Larkbarrow), Preyway, Exe Head, Drive, and Moles Chamber to Bratton and Barnstaple. A portion of it may be seen between Driver and Moles Chamber. According to MacDermot [1] it was never more than a bridlepath, though no doubt it was used for packhorse traffic. SS 7400 4060. Unlike the similar Lynton to South Moulton route, this is not shown on the 1891 six inch Ordnance Survey map [2] and is not evident on the ground, from Exe Head to Driver Cottages. However, from the main Simonsbath Road southwards through to Mole's Chamber it is depicted on the Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map [3] as a Bridle Road. Part of this is still in use as a rough track which is visible crossing the southern edge of this sheet. [4] The route is shown on the 1818 Inclosure Maps for Exmoor. The southeastern end is labelled "No. 11 Barnstaple Bridle Road". The Award describes this as "One public bridle road of the breadth of six ffeet" and its route is described in detail, beginning at Mole's Chamber and ending at the entrance of the Brendon Road against Brendon Common. It is not clear how much of the original routeway followed this depicted route, as not all of the routeways on the map were laid out at this time. [5,6] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Monograph: MacDermot, E.T.. 1911. The History of the Forest of Exmoor. Barnicott and Pearce, The Wessex Press. 13.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1896. County Series, First Edition 6 Inch Map. 1:10560. 1891,Devon 7SW.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890 (Surveyed 1888), Somerset 44(7).
  • <4> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 5 May 1995 RCHME Field Investigation.
  • <5>XY Map: Kelsey, F.J.. 1818. A Map of Exmoor Forest Referred to by the annexed Award. 4 inches : 1 mile. Pen and Ink. [Mapped feature: #46488 ]
  • <6> Map: Kelsey, F.J.. 1818. The Map Referred to in the annexed Award [Exmoor Inclosure Award]. 4 inches : 1 mile. Pen and Ink.
  • <7> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1044270, Extant 29 November 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 7421 4075 (1824m by 1495m)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW142
  • National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1044270

Record last edited

Nov 29 2021 9:55PM


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