MSO8313 - Timberscombe Hillslope Enclosure (Monument)


An earthwork bank and ditch defined hillslope enclosure of probable Iron Age date. The enclosure was identified in 1994 during plantation clearance following purchase of the land by Exmoor National Park Authority.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

SS 957413. Previously unrecorded hillslope enclosure within Timberscombe Wood identified in the course of land purchase by Exmoor National Park. [1] The site is currently being cleared of windblown larch tree cover and will subsequently be subject to large scale survey during 1995. [2] This Iron Age hillslope enclosure has been cleared of trees and is now under permanent pasture as an open space. The site was surveyed by the RCHME in 1995. [3-6] A trapezoidal hillslope enclosure of Iron Age date in Timberscombe Wood, Timberscombe was identified in 1994, and is clearly visible on aerial photographs examined as part of the Exmoor National Park National Mapping Programme project in 2008. It is defined by a ditch with an inner bank on the upper north-west and south west sides, while on the north and south east sides the natural slope has been enhanced by to form a steep rampart. The main entrance appears to be located on the north-west side, where a low causeway is visible, apparently aligned on a possible hollow way within the enclosure. At least two internal divisions can also be seen, forming two rectangular enclosures on the north-west side of the main enclosure. Surface examination within the enclosure identified fragments of iron slag, of a type identified with smithing, suggesting some form of iron working took place within the enclosure at some point. The enclosure has sustained some damage from tree cover [3, 7-9]. A hillfort was discovered in 1992 and purchased by Exmoor National Park in 1994. (10) A hillslope enclosure, about 1 hectare, in larch woodland. There are surviving banks up to 1 metre in height. There are also possible outworks, but thick brush and fallen trees make interpretation difficult. (11) Aerial photograph from 2001 shows that the site has been cleared. (12) Low intensity geochemical survey carried out on the site identified two anomolies that are potentially related to metal working activity. Gradiometer survey was carried out during November 2002. The results identified a number of possible divisions and subdivisions and two possible entrances within the hillslope enclosure, but did not support the interpretation of metal working at the two previously identified locations. (13) Vegetation clearance was undertaken in 2007/8 however follow up work was also needed in 2008/9. (15) The site was subject to condition survey in 2014. [16] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [17]

Sources/Archives (17)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. V Heal, Exmoor National Park Authority Archaeologist, Dulverton, January 1995.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Chapman, H.P.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 31 January 1995.
  • <3> Report: Sainsbury, I. and Wilson-North, R.. 1995. Timberscombe Enclosure, West Somerset. RCHME.
  • <4> Technical drawing: Sainsbury, I. and Wilson-North, R.. 1995. Timberscombe enclosure/ink survey . 1:500. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <5> Technical drawing: Sainsbury, I. and Wilson-North, R.. 1995. Timberscombe enclosure/pencil survey . 1:500. Permatrace. Pencil.
  • <6> Collection: Sainsbury, I. and Wilson-North, R.. 1995. RCHME: Timberscombe Enclosure, Somerset.
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 9541/16 (18279/21) (10 February 1999).
  • <8> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 9541/26 (21521/02) (6 March 2003).
  • <9> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. R. Wilson-North, 30 November 2009.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Heal, S.V.E.. 1995. Heal, S.V.E. to Somerset County Council.
  • <11> Unassigned: McCrone, P. SCC. 22/07/1993. Exmoor Advisory Group Meeting.
  • <12> Aerial photograph: 2001. SCC Colour Vertical Aerial Photograph.
  • <13> Report: Carey, C.. Geoprospection in the Archaeological Landscape: A Low Resolution Geochemical Survey of Timberscombe, a Hillslope Enclosure.
  • <14> Artwork: Brayne, J.. 2004. Timberscombe Hillslope Enclosure Reconstruction.
  • <15> Report: Exmoor National Park Authority. 2009. Monument Management Scheme: 2008-9 Report. P. 14.
  • <16> Report: Bonvoisin, P.. 2014. HER Input Form: Timberscombe Hillslope Enclosure.
  • <17> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 966157, Extant 19 May 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 9571 4139 (132m by 135m) Centred on
Map sheet SS94SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Related Articles (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SE 90
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 966157
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35404

Record last edited

May 19 2022 12:56PM


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