MSO7986 - 20th Century boathouse at Ashley Combe (Monument)


An ornamental boathouse on the beach, north of Ashley Combe, known as Rockford Cottage. It was not shown on the 1st or 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch maps and is therefore probably of 20th Century date.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

An ornamental boat house is built into the bottom of the cliffs north of Ashley Combe, at SS 8556 4835. The building is 12 metres long and 5 metres wide. It has two storeys; the roof and some of the back of the upper floor are missing or obscured by landslips. The ground floor consists of two low interconnecting arches. The main arch, accessed from the beach, has 4 recessed niches in its side and end walls. The other arch has one recessed niche. It leads to a small cell, lit by a cruciform window with brick voussoirs. This in turn leads up to the first floor via stone steps. The upper floor is divided into two rooms. The eastern one has a fireplace and bread oven on its east wall. Each of the rooms had a window looking over the sea. The building was surveyed at 1:100 as part of the RCHME Exmoor Project. [1-3] The building was known as Rockford Cottage and was a boathouse with access through the woods to Ashley Combe. [4] It is not marked on the 1st edition 25 inch map but is shown on the current 1:2500 map. [5,6] The boathouse also does not appear on the 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey map and must also post date this document. [7] A rapid reconnaissance of the building suggests it may incorporate and reuse the site of an earlier limekiln, of which there are several known along the Exmoor coast, all fed with limestone and coal brought in by boat. At the time of visit, the recessed niche in the rear wall of the main ground-floor tunnel was heavily obscured by shingle thrown up by storms, but incorporates within its head a rectangular opening reminiscent of the draw or poking hole in the draw arch of a limekiln. A rectangular area in front of the building appears to be have been cleared of shingle to create a sandy beaching area or slipway (see MMO1614). [8] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [9]

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Technical drawing: Wilson-North, R. and Bradbeer, C.. 1998. Rockford Cottage/ink Survey. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <2> Technical drawing: Wilson-North, R. and Riley, H.. 1998. Rockford Cottage.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Riley, H.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 1998.
  • <4> Monograph: Corner, Dennis. 1992. Porlock in Those Days. Exmoor Books. P. 61.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890, Somerset Sheet 33(4).
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1973. 1:2500. 1:25,000.
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Various. 1999-. English Heritage/Historic England Field Investigator's Comments. Marcus Jecock, HE Field Investigation, 18 September 2016.
  • <9> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1158683, Updated 14 February 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10295
  • Local List Status (Candidate)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NE79
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1158683
  • Shoreline Management Plan 2 (0-20)
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 18081



Grid reference Centred SS 8555 4834 (16m by 10m) Historic mapping
Map sheet SS84NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Feb 14 2022 10:21PM


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