MSO8051 - Post-medieval enclosures on Hurlstone Point (Monument)


Three post-medieval enclosures that were formerly believed to be a 16th Century gun encampment.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

A plan of the time of Henry VIII shows a gun battery in about this position, with another on the other side of the bay. It is shown as a tower with cannon projecting from embrasures. It is not known if the plan represents a completed scheme but on the ground there is a slight platform reinforced with boulders which might be unfinished. [1] Plan from the Cotton MS reproduced. [2] Aerial photographs show two banked enclosures with a short length of curving bank from a possible third enclosure. Also a long and round mound. [3-7] The earthwork remains of a post-medieval enclosure are visible on the steep slopes south of Hurlstone Point, centred at SS 8990 4884. This enclosure is marked on the current Ordnance Survey mapping. Remains of a an extensive post medieval field system to the east of this, on the slopes of Bossington Hill, are recorded under MSO8075. The gun platform referred to by the above authorities may have been mistakenly identified with this agricultural enclosure. [9] Post-medieval enclosures, visible as earthwork banks, were mapped from aerial photographs taken in 1941, 1946 and 1974. Located on the west slope of Hurlstone Hill at the bottom of Hurlstone Combe, the site consists of a large, elongated, irregular D shaped earth bank, centred at SS 8989 4884, about 3.6 to 4.2 metres wide, enclosing an area 88 metres long northeast to southwest and between 11.5 metres and 24 metres wide southeast to northwest. Joined to it on its northwest facing side, is a subcircular earth bank, centred at SS 8988 4889, enclosing and area about 44 metres by 28 metres. Attached to the east side of this is a earthwork bank, centred at SS 8991 4889, forming three sides of a rectangle and enclosing an area about 26 metres north to south by 15 metres east-west. A 2.6 metres wide linear bank centred at SS 8994 4890 extends 60 metres northeast from the three sided enclosure. These features, along with the smaller and irregularly shaped enclosures along the eastern boundary of Hurlstone lane, along with a field system on Bossington Hill (MSO8075) may suggest the presence of a deserted settlement or farmstead. The fields and boundary banks were still visible on aerial photographs taken in 1979. [10-14] 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] The southernmost enclosure is shown on the 25 inch 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map. [16] It is also shown on the Tithe Map for Porlock and labelled 3, which the Apportionment describes as "Fox's: Fiddle." [17]

Sources/Archives (17)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Stevens, D.J. 11/10/1974. D.J Stevens (11/10/1974) to Somerset County Council.
  • <2> Monograph: Green, E. 1888. The preparations of Somerset against the Spanish Armada 1558-88.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: July 1946. 106G.UK.1655. 4014.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: September 19. HSL.UK.71-177 Run 89. 8673.
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Meridian Air Maps. 1977-1978. Infrared False Colour Aerial Photography. 2563 (June 1978).
  • <6> Aerial photograph: OAP WAP 1060-10.
  • <7> Aerial photograph: OAP WAP 1177-5.
  • <8> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS8948b.
  • <9> Unpublished document: Riley, H.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 1999.
  • <10> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 8948/2 (MSO31206/001) (21 June 1941).
  • <11> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1655 4015 (11 July 1946).
  • <12> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 8948/1 (AP1060/10) (29 May 1974).
  • <13> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/79012 016-017 (17 April 1979).
  • <14>XY Archive: Crowther, S., Dickson, A. and Truscoe, K.. 2007. Severn Estuary Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment: SS 84 NE. MD000130. [Mapped feature: #38537 ]
  • <15> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 881082, Extant 8 February 2022.
  • <16> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1854-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <17> Map: Cox, J. W.C.. 1841. Porlock Tithe Map and Apportionment. 13.3 inches : 1 mile. Land parcel 3.

External Links (3)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO294
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11585
  • Local Heritage List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NE23
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • National Trust HER Record: MNA141473
  • National Trust HER Record: MNA165218
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 881082
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33991



Grid reference Centred SS 2899e 1489e (120m by 125m)
Map sheet SS21SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Mar 18 2024 2:16PM


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