MSO7377 - Undated square enclosure at Thurley Combe (Monument)


A squarish enclosure with earth and rubble banks has been partially destroyed by the Exford to Wilmersham road. Suggested functions for the site include a later prehistoric or medieval settlement, or a post-medieval sheepfold.

Please read the .

Type and Period (3)

Protected Status

Full Description

At SS 8641 4236 a squarish enclosure is situated on a moderately steep southwest slope at 390 metres Ordnance Datum in Thurley Combe. The interior has not been levelled, and has sides of approximately 40 metres. The northern side has been formed by cutting into the hillslope, creating a lynchet 4 metres long and 0.7 metres high. The other sides have banks of earth and rubble, 3.5 to 4.8 metres wide and 0.4 metres high. There is no evidence of any internal structure and no entrance can be seen. However, the south west angle has been eroded by Thurley Combe stream, and by the Exford to Wilmersham road which has destroyed part of the west side of the enclosure and the north west angle. The earthwork is not ditched and has no defensive potential. With some form of hurdling it could conceivably be used as a fold but it is obviously older than the road, which existed in 1809. [1,2] The site shows clearly on aerial photographs. [3] A square bank defined enclosure at Thurley Combe, Luccombe parish, is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs centred on circa SS 8642 4237. The bank appears to be roughly four metres in width and encloses an area approximately 40 metres long, north to south and 25 metres wide, west to east, although the southwestern boundary has been eroded by Thurley Combe stream and destroyed by the Exford to Wilmersham road. The authority above states that field investigation revealed that the interior has not been levelled. Aerial photographs of 1947 show possible internal features within the enclosure but individual features cannot be seen with any detail. The date and purpose of the feature remain uncertain but it could conceivably be a settlement of the later prehistoric date or the medieval period; further investigation is required. [4-6]

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Quinnell, N.V.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 10 April 1987.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1809. 1 Inch Ordnance Surveyors draft map. 1:63,360.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. Somerset County Council aerial photograph coverage, 2001.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980 F20 3170-3171 (11 April 1947).
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 950-51 (29 April 1973).
  • <6> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SE. MD002185.



Grid reference Centred SS 8640 4236 (55m by 51m)
Map sheet SS84SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO166
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10188
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SE79
  • National Park
  • National Trust HER Record
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 36155
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 15596

Record last edited

Sep 1 2014 11:17AM


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