MSO7338 - Bagley Farmstead, Luccombe (Monument)


The remains of the deserted farmstead is visible as a collection of roofless buildings, walls and platforms. There are medieval documentary references to the site, which is named "Hagley and Bagley" on the Tithe Map of c.1840.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

(SS 88194254) Bagley (Ruin) (NAT). [1] SS 882 426. Deserted medieval farmstead of Bagley apparently mentioned in Domesday. Enclosure walls still stand up to 4 feet high and enclose a complex of ruined stone built rectangular buildings, the northernmost of which clearly shows several phases of building. A second building lies to the south and probably a third lies in the southwest corner of the site. It is situated on a sloping field now used for uncultivated pasture, near a stream. There are earthworks of a field system. [2-4] The manor of Bagelie, adjacent to Stoke Pero, is recorded among the lands of Roger de Corcelle in the Domesday Survey. [5] The Stoke Pero Tithe Map [6] shows `Hagley and Bagley', and the symbols suggest the buildings are still occupied as farmsteads. In 1841 Bagley and Hagley was a farmstead of 68 acres. Bagley is marked to the south of the stream by a clearly defined triangular enclosure in a small side valley. Within this there are remains of a ruined stone walled building with numerous other stone foundations. The farm may have been approached by a track from the north across the stream, but the main access was down a deep hollow way to the moors from the south (Fieldwork M Aston 21 May 1976 et al). Air photographs [7,8] suggest that as well as the deserted Domesday site of Bagley there may have been a second farmstead, possibly Hagley at SS 88304255. There is nothing on the ground as the field has been reclaimed. "This site, together with Sweetworthy (MSO7346)," forms the most impressive group of medieval farm sites in West Somerset, particularly since they are associated with several probably prehistoric ringworks (MSO7333, MSO7345, MSO7356) and a number of post-medieval waterleats and field banks". [9] Additional Bibliography. [10,11] Extension of scheduled area to include probable prehistoric ringwork (MSO7345). "Extending east from the deserted farmstead, into two adjoining fields of improved pasture, is a subcircular enclosure showing as a degraded earthwork. This enclosure would be morphologically acceptable as a prehistoric hillslope enclosure. Subcircular enclosure and medieval farmstead are physically linked. Such direct associations are unusual and suggestive of continuously evolving settlement on the same focus. Deposits reflecting the full chronological span of settlement activity still survive". [12] The ruined farm of Bagley, at SS 8819 4254, is situated at 335 metres Ordnance Datum on the east side of a deeply cut stream which forms a short tributary of East Water. Although sheltered its position is such that all buildings and yards have had to be levelled into both north and west slopes. The Ordnance Survey 25 inch 1890 map [28], shows two roofless buildings; the northern one evidently the house, about 12 metres long and 5 metres wide, with two extensions or small yards on the west end. A shippon or barn is 20 metres to the south. The few visible structural remains no longer conform to the 1890 plan, either by size or shape. The house appears to be on a platform built up 1 metre at the west end. From the top two pieces of angled walling protrude about 0.3 metres above the grass covered tumble. Both have sides of about 4.5 metres and the walling is 0.6 metres thick. The extenstions or yards to the west cannot be traced but seem to have been off the platform and at a lower level. The building to the south is now represented by a 10 metres length of back wall, 0.6 metres thick and 0.4 metres high. To the east of this is a small garden plot with cultivation ridges. A building mentioned by Rees (? - source unknown) as being to the southwest could not be identified unless it refers to the thick yard wall which runs southsouthwest from the house. There may have been another structure 15 metres north of the house where a levelled area bears a slight right angled scarp, indicating an end and one side of a building. Most of the well made and stone faced hedge banks in the vicinity of the steading have been partly demolished in the past 40 years and a trackway has been bulldozed across the combe and round the east end of the house to give riding access to fields to the east. There may have been access from the moors, but the hollow way track from the south kept to the west of the combe in 1890 and the route to Bagley was then from the north. As with most steadings there have probably been several phases of building, but there is nothing obviously medieval at the site, and it is remarkably compact when compared with the 1.5 hectares of medieval desertion 400 metres to the east (Sweetworthy Deserted Medieval Village). No rig and furrow can be detected in the vicinity but there has evidently been considerable arable activity in the recent past that may have destroyed all traces. Without recourse to the 1840 map [6] the significance of the Hagley "symbol" is uncertain. There are no traces of earthworks at SS 8830 4255, on the ground or on the Royal Commision of Historic Monuments in England aerial photographs.s or on Royal Air Force aerial photographs [29]. Aston quotes a combined acreage of 68 acres for Hagley and Bagley in 1841 which would correspond with all the land to the west of Sweetworthy Combe enclosed by 1809 [30]. Within this area on the south facing hillside, opposite Bagley, are uncertain traces of possible desertion. A half dozen wide spaced and indistinct rectilinear depressions can be seen in low light, covering about 2 hectares centred at SS 8811 4280. One may be crested by a field hedge, but all are virtually unsurveyable. [13] The post-medieval settlement remains at Bagley have been considered in their archaeological landscape as part of the RCHME Exmoor project. Full details in the survey report. [14] Enclosure wall clear but not continuous. [19] Other buildings apparent. Damaged by horse training track. [20] Horse training track now avoids the site. Some trees are growing on the walls of the buildings which survive as grassed over features, several courses high. A survey is needed. [24] The medieval farm is located immediately below the enclosure. Earth and stonework remains of cottage with chimney mound, small yards, garden, and two barns or outbuildings. There are indications of an earlier phase. Field walls and banks survive immediately around the site but further afield have been broken down. [25] Scheduling revised with new national number 10 August 1994 (was Somerset 484). [26] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 5. [31] The site was surveyed in June 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 5. [32] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [33]

Sources/Archives (33)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Department of Environment. Record Form. 20 December 1976.
  • <3> Article in serial: Dyer, C. (Editor). 1976. Research in 1976. Medieval Village Research Group annual report. 24. pp 3-13. Volume 24 (1976), 9.
  • <4> Article in serial: Aston, M. 1977. Somerset Archaeology 1976. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society. 121. 117.
  • <5> Monograph: Page, W. (editor). 1906. The Victoria History of the County of Somerset. Archibald Constable and Company, Limited (London). 1. 490.
  • <6> Map: 1841. Stoke Pero Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK 1980. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. 3086. 3173 (April 1947).
  • <8> Aerial photograph: 1971. HSL.71-177 Run 89. 8668.
  • <9> Article in serial: Aston, M.. 1983. Deserted Farmsteads on Exmoor and the Lay Subsidy of 1327 in West Somerset. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 127. 94.
  • <10> Article in serial: Aston, M.. 1978. Research in 1977: (b) Fieldwork - Somerset. Medieval Village Research Group. 25. pp 14-16. 15.
  • <11> Article in serial: Aston, M.. 1982. Fieldwork: Somerset. Medieval Village Research Group. 30. p 10. 10.
  • <12> Unpublished document: HBMC (English Heritage). 10.07.86. HBMC (English Heritage) to Somerset County Council 10.07.86 - revised scheduling.
  • <13> Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 11 August 1987.
  • <14> Report: Riley, H.. 1996. The prehistoric enclosures and medieval and post medieval settlements at Bagley and Sweetworthy, Luccombe, Somerset. RCHME.
  • <15> Technical drawing: Quinnell, N.V.. 1987. Bagley/ink survey . 1:1000. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <16> Collection: Pattison, P., Quinnell, N.V., Fletcher, M. and Sainsbury, I.. 1987-1988. RCHME: Exmoor Pilot Survey, SS 84 SE, Somerset.
  • <17> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/79013 258-9 (17 April 1979).
  • <18> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SE. MD002185.
  • <19> Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Field Monument Warden Report.
  • <20> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. I Burrow, Somerset County Council, 20 October 1982.
  • <21> Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 8842.
  • <22> Aerial photograph: May 1977. ENP MAM IRFC. 13,099.
  • <23> Aerial photograph: West Air Photography. 1981-1983. Oblique aerial photographs across Exmoor National Park. 27534.
  • <24> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. E Dennison, Somerset County Council, 3 March 1986.
  • <25> Report: Preece, A.. 1993-1994. English Heritage Monument Protection Programme.
  • <26> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 17.8.94. English Heritage to Somerset County Council.
  • <27> Aerial photograph: 10/1/1989. DAP LD27.
  • <28> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890.
  • <29> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. CPE/UK/1980/3237-9 (11 April 1947).
  • <30> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1809. 1 Inch Ordnance Surveyors draft map. 1:63,360.
  • <31> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <32> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <33> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36021, Extant 8 March 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO149
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11324
  • Local List Status (Rejected)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SE21
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • National Trust HER Record
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36021
  • Scheduled Monument (County Number): SOMER 484
  • Site of Special Scientific Interest
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33680



Grid reference Centred SS 8815 4254 (175m by 164m) Historic mapping
Map sheet SS84SE
Historic Parish STOKE PERO

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Mar 8 2022 4:46PM


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