MSO7746 - Withycombe farmstead, Oare (Monument)

Summary

The site of Withycombe farmstead is shown as the "ruins of a house" on the Tithe Map of 1842. It is now visible as a complex group of platforms, banks, retaining walls, hollow ways and the remains of two rectangular stone buildings.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Good example of a deserted farmstead, of a class which may have been in existence in the 15th and 16th centuries, with earthworks and remains of stone buildings, at Withycombe, Oare, SS 808462. [1] (SS 80784617). Withycombe (In Ruins) (NAT) (no coherent plan). [2] (SS 807461) Withycombe (NAT) [3] SS 808462. Deserted medieval farmstead of Withycombe, indicated in the 1327 Lay Subsidy (in Porlock parish) by the entry of William Wydecombe. A 48 acre estate with the 'ruins of a house' at the farm is shown on 1842 Tithe Map [5]. The site lies on a terraced platform on the east side of a hill overlooking a stream, and a complex group of platforms, banks, retaining walls, hollow ways and the remains of two rectangular stone buildings have been recorded by McDonnell. The building foundations are aligned along a track descending northwards in a hollow way and linking the site to a field system recorded from aerial photographs to the south on Withycombe Allotment. (Although Aston links this site with the entry of William Wydecombe in the 1327 Lay Subsidy, there is another site named Withycombe on OS 1" 1809 at SS 830 479, but not shown on OS 1:10000 1975). [4-7] Additional Bibliography. [8,9] SS 8080 4260 The remains of a desetred farmstead, levelled into a stepp slope at about 300m above OD. It is located on the eastern side of a N-S hollow way track and overlooking withy Combe to the immediate east. From the site there are excellent views due east up the valley of the Weir Water to Robber's Bridge and beyond also northwards down its extension the Oare Water Valley. The remains, depicted on the 1889 Ordnance Survey (a) as two open rectangular yards annotated Withycombe (in ruins) are now in an extremely poor condition. The yard walls are 1m thick and about 1m in maximum height and are now spread to about 4m in places, they are mainly evident as much-robbed turf and tree covered stony scarps. The northern yard is about 10m N-S by 3m between wall centres. Its western wall, abutting the track and its northern gable wall, have been almost completely robbed out leaving only a faint scarp. An internal sub-dividing wall is evident about 3m from the northern gable and a lowering, near central to the east wall, suggests an entrance. A large rectangular stone, 0.9m by 0.3m by 0.2m laid in the interior to the north of this entrance may be a possible door jamb. Some 6m to the south, the second yard 9.5m by 3.5m between wall centres, is in a similar condition. There is a possible entrance at the west end of the north wall which opens onto an annexe about 5m long. It is now difficult to tell the original state of these structures, whether they were both buildings or not, but it is probable that they were and the northern one was the main farmhouse. To the east of the yards is a levelled area about 30m N-S by 11m with remains of two smaller platforms at its southern end, obviously on the working area or farmyard. Opposite the northern yard on the west side of the track is an apparent open ended turning bay, about 12m by 6m formed by earth and stone banks. The field system allegedly associated with this farmstead lies along the east-facing slopes of Withycombe Allotment from about SS 805 464 southwards to SS 806 455. It was seen by McDonnell [11] on air photos ©. Althought not visited it appears in shape and form to be similar to that along the Chalk Water about 1km to the east (MMO657). [2,10-12]

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Serial: Medieval Settlement Research Group : annual report no 1 (1986) - . Volume 24 (1976), 9.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. Various. Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) . OS 1" 1809.
  • <4> Serial: Dickinson, F.H.. 1889. Kirby's Quest for Somerset. Volume 3 (1889), 246.
  • <5> Map: 1842. Oare Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <6> Serial: Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 1851-. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. Volume 127 (1983), 96, 98.
  • <7> Serial: Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 1851-. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. Volume 126 (1982), 85.
  • <8> Serial: Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 1851-. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. Volume 122 (1978), 138.
  • <9> Serial: Medieval Settlement Research Group : annual report no 1 (1986) - . Volume 25 (1977), 15.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation.
  • <11> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography.
  • <12> Aerial photograph: Aerial photograph reference number . RAF LHL CPE/UK/1980/4067.
  • <13> Aerial photograph: April 1972. HSL.UK.72-49 Run 81. 0027, 0025.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8079 4624 (100m by 198m)
Map sheet SS84NW
Civil Parish OARE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11479
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NW17
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 35924
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33856

Record last edited

Jan 26 2021 10:44AM

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