MSO7880 - Prehistoric submerged forest and flint finds at Porlock Weir (Monument)
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Type and Period (3)
[Area: SS 8695 4795] In 1861, a worked flint was found in the 'angular detritus' of the submarine forest at Porlock Weir and in 1869 Boyd-Dawkins, together with the Reverend HH Winwood, examined the forest bed and further flints were discovered including a well-formed flake and chert chippings.  A flint flake (in Taunton Museum) was found by the Reverend George Horner in a grass field above high water mark and opposite the submerged forest.  There are flint chippings from this site, classified as Mesolithic and Neolithic, in Taunton Castle Museum.  "Flint and chert implements dug out of old land surface under the submarine forest at Porlock Weir, Aug 1890, by W. Boyd Dawkins and Reverend H.H. Winwood" (Source not cited; NGR wrongly given as c. SS 835 455). Unspecified numbers of cores and blades or flakes, one microlith and scrapers are in the British Museum.  Additional bibliography. [5,6] Peat deposits incorporating tree stumps, small trunks and branches, forming part of the submarine forest, were recorded. An environmental sample site, carried out by the Exmoor National Park, was also surveyed at SS 87224778. For detailed report and plan see Archive Account. [7-11] Submarine Forest (Mesolithic and Neolithic flints found) at SS 8719 4779. The site was not visited.  The submarine forest and associated peat layers were surveyed using differential GPS as part of the RCHME Exmoor project. The aim was to accurately locate the area of peat and submarine forest remains. The site extends for an area 140 metres east to west, by 120 metres north to south, and mostly lies to the south of the breakwater, which is exposed at low tide. The largest peat exposures are centred at SS 8721 4779, where they run into shingle deposits. More fragmentary layers of peat lie to the west of the shingle, centred at SS 8714 4776. [13-16] The location of the peat exposures and buried forest was surveyed in detail in 1998 and 2001 to assess the impact of the breaching of the shingle ridge.  'Submarine forest' is written on the Ordnance Survey 6 Inch map.  A number of samples have been taken from the timbers in order to carry out radiocarbon dating and dendrochronology in the longer term.  The retreat of the shingle ridge has exposed peat deposits and submerged forest material that has not been visible in previous monitoring. The material is eroded.  This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. 
- <1> SSO15 Article in serial: Anonymous. 1872. Ancient Geography of the West of England. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society. 18. pp 26-33. pp 26-27.
- <2> SEM340967 Article in serial: St. George Gray, H.. 1915. Additions to the Museum. From January 1st to December 31st, 1915. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Nat. 61. Part I, pp 44-58. p44.
- <3> SMO7319 Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 21 July 1965.
- <4> SMO5219 Monograph: Wymer, J.J. + Bonsall, C.J. (Editors). 1977. Gazetteer of Mesolithic Sites in England and Wales, with a Gazetteer of Upper Palaeolithic Sites in England and Wales. Council for British Archaeology. CBA Research Report No 20. P.248.
- <5> SEM340968 Article in serial: St. George Gray, H.. 1908. Report on the Wick Barrow Excavations. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Nat. Part II, pp 1-. p9.
- <6> SMO5453 Serial: Country Life. 1957, p783.
- <7> SMO5483 Technical drawing: Pattison, P. and Wilson-North, R.. 1991. Porlock Weir . 1:500. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
- <8> SMO5482 Technical drawing: Pattison, P. and Wilson-North, R.. 1991. Porlock Weir . 1:500. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
- <9> SMO5635 Report: Pattison, P. and Wilson-North, R.. 1991. Porlock Weir, Somerset. RCHME.
- <10> SMO6287 Archive: Pattison, P. and Wilson-North, R.. 1991. RCHME: Porlock Weir, Somerset.
- <11> SMO5111 Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. P Pattison, and R Wilson-North, 20 November 1991.
- <12> SMO7324 Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation.
- <13> SEM340969 Technical drawing: Riley, H.. 1998. Porlock Bay, peat and submerged forest/ink survey. Unknown. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
- <14> SEM6725 Report: Riley, H.. 2001. Porlock Bay, Porlock, Somerset. English Heritage.
- <15> SEM340970 Archive: Pattison, P., Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 2001. Volume: Porlock Bay, Somerset.
- <16> SMO7322 Unpublished document: Riley, H.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 1998.
- <17> SEM6715 Report: McDonnell, R.. 1995. Porlock Bay and Marsh: A Rapid Preliminary Assessment of the Cultural and Palaeoenvironmental Resource. p24-25, 37-8.
- <18> SEM7220 Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560. SS84NE.
- <19> SEM6722 Article in serial: Straker, V., Weinstock, J. + Wilson-North, R.. 2001. The Archaeology of Porlock Beach. Park Life. 8.
- <20> SEM6724 Article in serial: 2001. Ancient Forest Yields its Secrets. Park Life. 8.
- <21> SEM7271 Report: McDonnell, R.. 2009. Porlock Bay and Marsh: Archaeological Monitoring 2007-2008 Annual Report.
- <22> SEM7987 Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35864, Extant 7 February 2022.
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=35864 (Original Monarch entry: 35864)
- Coastal Risk 2014: Flood Zone 2 tidal
- Coastal Risk 2016: Flood Zone 2 tidal
- Local List Status (Candidate)
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NE12
- National Park: Exmoor National Park
- NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35864
- Shoreline Management Plan 2 (0-20)
- Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33942
|Grid reference||Centred SS 8716 4779 (145m by 152m) Surveyed|
|Civil Parish||PORLOCK, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (0)
Related Events/Activities (5)
- Event - Intervention: 1869: AE - Porlock Weir (Ref: EI 9688) (EMO12650)
- Event - Survey: 1991, 1998, 2001: GPS - Porlock Bay (EEM14793)
- Event - Survey: 2014: DBA - Exmoor Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey (EEM14294)
- Event - Intervention: Field observation on SS 84 NE 12 (EMO9724)
- Event - Intervention: Field observation SS 84 NE 12 (EMO13589)
Related Articles (1)
Record last edited
Feb 7 2022 11:02AM
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