MSO7747 - Twitchen Farmstead, Oare (Monument)


The farmstead is shown on historic mapping. The buildings are now in a ruinous state.

Please read the .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

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 Twitchen, Oare, SS 822 483. [1] (SS 8226 4828). Twitchin (Ruin) (NAT). (No coherent plan). [2] SS 822 483. Deserted farmstead of Twitchen, shown on the 1838 Tithe map as an occupied farmstead. Within its farmlands the site lies on a terrace on the north side of a hill. It is approached by a deep hollow way running north from the coastal path. Former building sites, including the longhouse, can be clearly seen arranged around aroughly oval area. There are traces of a roughly circular bank around this area which may be a prehistoric hillslope enclosure. [3-5] The Tithe map shows a group of four buildings, with the long house in the centre, at c. SS 8224 4828. [3] The remains of a deserted farmstead levelled into a steep slope about 285 metres above Ordnance Datum on the eastern side of a northwards projecting hill spur between Twitchen Combe on the west and Holmers Combe on the east. The site occupies a position sheltered from the southwest winds and with excellent views, northwards across the Bristol Channel to the South Wales coast and beyond. The site is approached by a narrow track from the south. The remains depicted on the 1889 Ordnance Survey [2] and annotated Twitchen (ruin) are now in an extremely poor condition. The main farm buildings (the longhouse depicted on [3]'s plan) levelled into the slope on the west, are visible as a stepped linear platform defined by turf-covered scarps. Even with [3]'s plan as a guide it is difficult to identify the features of the longhouse. Due to the slope some of the structures on the west (barn and dairy) of the longhouse platform must have been at a higher level and were probably approached from the west. Fronting the longhouse platform is a flat area (garden?) on the east side of which are more amorphous terraced remains of outbuildings (barn and stable?) and yards. To the north a pond, the best preserved feature on the site, is now a dry hollow with a reinforced wall on its north side which has been incorporated into a field bank. There is no evidence of a prehistoric hillslope enclosure as alleged by previous authorities. This appears to be a misinterpretation of a circular pound combined with part of a modern field boundary and amorphous scarps in this area. [4-7] The deserted farmstead recorded above is visible on aerial photographs. [8-10] The Estate memoranda book has a plan showing a longhouse together with other buildings. [11] The site lies on a terrace on the north side of a hill overlooking the sea. Approached by a deep holloway running north from the coastal path, which is also a holloway. Former building sites, as well as the longhouse, can be seen arranged around a roughly oval area. There are traces of a bank around this area. [12] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [13]

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Article in serial: Dyer, C. (Editor). 1976. Research in 1976. Medieval Village Research Group annual report. 24. pp 3-13. p9.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889, Somerset 33(3).
  • <3>XY Map: 1838. Culbone Tithe Map and Apportionment. [Mapped feature: #42900 ]
  • <4> Serial: Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 1851-. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. Volume 127 (1983), 96-98.
  • <5> Serial: Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 1851-. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. Volume 122 (1978), 119.
  • <6> Article in serial: Aston, M.. 1978. Research in 1977: (b) Fieldwork - Somerset. Medieval Village Research Group. 25. pp 14-16. p 15.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 22 November 1995.
  • <8> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF/540/910 3041-3042 (17 October 1952).
  • <9> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 8248/4 (DAP 6805/12) (15 March 1990).
  • <10> Archive: Severn Estuary Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment: SS 84 NW. MD000129.
  • <11> Map: Estate memoranda book.
  • <12> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records. PRN 33847.
  • <13> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35925, Extant 22 February 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 8224 4828 (80m by 77m) Historic mapping
Map sheet SS84NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO138
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11470
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NW18
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35925
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33847

Record last edited

Feb 22 2022 2:35PM


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