MSO8075 - Medieval or post-medieval field system on Bossington Hill (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
The remains of an extensive field system lies on the summit of Bossington Hill, centred at SS 905 485. The area was recorded using differential GPS as part of the RCHME Exmoor project. The well preserved earthwork remains cover an area of circa 1 kilometre square. The field system continues to the east where it can be seen as vague earthworks in improved pasture (previously recorded as MSO8050). The fields comprise mainly rectangular plots. Above Church Combe and Lynch Combe the field walls are very stony and many clearance cairns are evident, particularly in the area at the head of Church Combe. In the area on the slopes above East Combe, the remains occur as sustantial lynchets, up to 1 metre high, with clearance cairns mainly evident on the northern edge of the field system. The central portion of the field system is obscured with thick gorse; aerial photographs show that the field banks do continue in this area [1,2]. The field system is disturbed by the World War Two activity in the area. At the head of Church Combe an observation post has been constructed and many bomb craters occur. To the southwest of East Combe, many slit trenches have been cut into the field banks. The two enclosures recorded separately (MSO11597) are part of the field system, and the narrow rigg ploughing referred to appears to be the result of World War Two activity.  The date of the field system is difficult to ascertain. The western part may be associated with the villages of Bossington and West Lynch at the foot of Bossington Hill; tracks lead from these settlements up Church Combe and Lynch Combe to the fields. The deserted settlement at Mene (MSO8022) may have been associted with the eastern part of the system. None of the fields are depicted on the early 19th Century mapping of the area.  The probable medieval and/or post-medieval field system ) is visible as earthworks on aerial photographs. The field system is located primarily on Bossington Hill, centred at SS 9083 4854 and bounded by the grid references SS 9030 4806, SS 9028 4896, SS 9133 4887, SS 9170 4841, SS 9153 4800 and SS 9097 4823. Many of the fields show evidence of ploughing with slight narrow ridge and furrow visible as earthworks through the thick vegetation. These have been recorded as part of the field system. Associated drainage ditches and possble trackways have also been recorded. The field boundaries to the east of the field system (SS 9138 4855) have been plough levelled and were visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs taken in 1999. [1,5-7] There are numerous banks and ditches seen on aerial photographs which form three field systems. The area is a subrectangular system of fairly square fields on the top and west spur of Bossington Hill. They are defended by small banks or walls and some of the fields appear to have been ploughed. On the northeast side of Hurtstone Combe are short right angled banks and short curving lynchets. There is a system of linear subrectangular fields defined by larger more substantial banks on the northeast side at Bossington Hill, extending into Minehead Without parish and onto North Hill. There also appears to be a circular enclosure in the centre of the system (SS 9070 4880) and a small area of narrow rig ploughing at the head of Lynch Combe (SS 9090 4810). [8,9]
- <1> SEM6707 Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. 106G/UK/1655 4013-4014 (11 July 1946).
- <2> SMO4069 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. SCPD.HSL.UK 71-177 Run 91 8679, 8680 (September 1971).
- <3> SMO7322 Unpublished document: Riley, H.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 1998.
- <4> SEM7729 Map: Ordnance Survey. 1802. Ordnance Survey drawing 42 part 1 - Minehead 16. 3 inch : 1 Mile (1:21,120). Pen and Ink.
- <5> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/70064 045-046 (3 May 1970).
- <6> SMO4069 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 9048/18 (18282/03) (10 February 1999).
- <7>XY SMO7542 Archive: Severn Estuary Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment: SS 94 NW. MD000133. [Mapped feature: #38381 ]
- <8> SSO420 Photograph: Somerset County Council Planning Department. Slide. 3.029.0118-0119 (March 1984).
- <9>XY SEM7406 Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. 9048 and 9148. [Mapped feature: #44737 ]
|Grid reference||Centred SS 90 48 (2068m by 1026m) (Aerial survey)|
|Civil Parish||MINEHEAD WITHOUT, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
|Civil Parish||SELWORTHY, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (3)
- Parent of: Medieval or post-medieval enclosure on Bossington Hill (Monument) (MSO11597)
- Parent of: Medieval or post-medieval field system northwest of Selworthy Beacon (Monument) (MSO8050)
- Related to: Possible medieval or World War two rectangular enclosure west of Selworthy Beacon (Monument) (MSO8069)
Related Events/Activities (2)
Related Articles (1)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1119198 (Pastscape entry: 1119198)
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO691
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11596
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 NW52
- National Park: Exmoor National Park
- Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1119198
- Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34003
- Somerset SMR PRN: 34002
- Somerset SMR PRN: 35002
Record last edited
Nov 4 2020 3:39PM
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