MSO7697 - Nettlecombe deserted village (Monument)


A deserted village in Nettlecombe Park. The settlement was removed as part of 18th Century landscaping works.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

ST 056377. There are persistent traditions of a village being removed in the 16th century when the house, Nettlecombe Court, and its grounds were developed. Its possible that there was formerly a hamlet by the church. [1] Nettlecombe village and its associated green lay near the church and manor house in a sheltered valley on the eastern side of the parish, but its precise site has not been located. The village was removed in the course of improvements to the park (MSO11455): the poorhouse was replaced by one at Woodford c. 1780, exchanges of glebe were made in 1790 and the former rectory house was pulled down c.1797. The village had been completely removed by 1800, the tenants thereafter living mostly in the estate village of Woodford, or elsewhere in the parish. [2-8] There appears to be no field evidence for this village, which was presumably removed and levelled when the park improvements were made. In the southern part of the park, centred at ST 055 374, are the remains of a field system. Pollarded oaks of some considerable age grow on these field boundaries. [9] The Day and Masters map of 1782 shows buildings either side of a road leading from the church and court to the south centred at ST 05635 37530. This is approximately along the current path to Parsonage Pond [7, 10,11] Prior to Domesday, Nettlecombe parish was held by Godwin, son of Earl Harold. It was described in the Domesday survey as being held for the King, with a Knight's fee - "it paid tax for 2 hides and 3 virgates of land. Land for 12 ploughs, of which 1 1/2 virgates are in lordship; 2 ploughs there; 3 slaves 15 villagers and 4 small holders with 7 ploughs and 1 1/2 hides and 1 virgate. Meadow, 6 acres; pasture, 20 acres; woodland, 10 acres. 4 cattle; 50 sheep." Nettlecombe was granted by the King to Hugh de Ralegh in c.1160 and the Court was inherited by the Trevelyans in the 1440s. The Day and Masters map shows the cottages of Nettlecombe village to the south of the Court, removed by landscaping at the end of the 18th Century. [12] This monument was previously mapped around the area of the church and court but has been edited to reflect the evidence presented above by the Day and Masters map. [13] An update was undertaken for the Parkland Plan published in 2003 (see [5]). This included newly incorporated historic mapping and documentary evidence and research and restoration work on the landscape, as well as the results of a walkover survey undertaken in April 2015. The Great Park had been created by 1755 (possibly in c.1734). The stable block, erected in 1792 by John Trevelyan, was plotted together with Combe (MSO10503), built as the new parsonage following the removal of the village of Nettlecombe from the valley. The inhabitants of the cottages in Old Nettlecombe were rehoused at Woodford Cottages (MSO10507), north of the park, dated 1824, 1852 and 1865, and implying a delay between the landscaping and the provision of new accommodation for the villagers. [14] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [15]

Sources/Archives (15)

  • <1> Article in serial: Aston, M. 1983. Deserted Farms on Exmoor and the Lay subsidy of 1327 in West Somerset. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society. 127. p96.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Unknown. 1619. Bound survey of the Manors of Nettlecombe and Rowdon, and Woodadvent, 1619.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Various. 1656-1899. TREVELYAN PAPERS, bundle 11.
  • <4> Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. SRO DD\WO D\D\Cf.
  • <5> Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. SRO D\D\Bg 8.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Unknown. 1700-1799. Survey of the Manors of Nettlecombe, Treborough and Browne, Golsoncott and Roadwater, with later notes.
  • <7> Map: Day and Masters. 1981. Map of Somerset 1782. SRS. 76.
  • <8> Serial: Dunning, R. W. (editor). 1985. A History of the County of Somerset. Oxford University Press for the Institute of Historical Research. 5. 111.
  • <9> Unpublished document: Riley, H.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 1999.
  • <10> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. S Blaylock, 30 July 2013.
  • <11> Report: Nicholas Pearson Associates. 1992. Nettlecombe Park and Pleasure Grounds: Historic survey and restoration plan. 5, 9.
  • <12> Report: Nicholas Pearson Associates. 2003. Nettlecombe Park and Pleasure Grounds: Historic survey and restoration plan.
  • <13> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 2 August 2013.
  • <14> Report: Unknown. 2016. Nettlecombe Parkland Plan. Nicholas Pearson Partnership LLP.
  • <15> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 188350, Extant 26 May 2022.



Grid reference Centred ST 056 375 (266m by 457m)
Map sheet ST03NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (5)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11454
  • National Monuments Record reference: ST 03 NE20
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 188350
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33828

Record last edited

May 26 2022 2:41PM


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