MSO8538 - Medieval or post-medieval rectangular enclosure on Winsford Hill (Monument)


A rectangular enclosure on Winsford Hill, measuring 17.6 metres by 13.2 metres, defined by an earthen bank. It lies within an extensive medieval or early post-medieval field system with which it is likely to be contemporary.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 878 341. An enclosure, probably medieval in date, on Winsford Hill measures 10 yards by 15 yards with a heather covered 'bank' 1 yard high and a ditch on the outside. There is no apparent entrance. Scheduled. [1] The enclosure measures 9 metres by 13.5 metres. The bank is 0.8 metres in height. There are one or two paths across the enclosure. [2] A recent aerial photograph taken by M. Aston shows former enclosures on Winsford Hill, some of which are easily seen on the ground. They were used for the tillage of moorland, a practice known on Exmoor since the 13th century. The largest recorded enclosure on Exmoor is three and a half acres but most were one acre or half acres plots, some even smaller. The fertility of the soil would have been exhausted after a few years use and new enclosures made, bounded by low banks of soil and turf and topped with fences. (An enclosure in the locality of the scheduled site is clearly visible on Aston's Air photograph). [3] This enclosure measures 17.6 metres by 13.2 metres and is defined by an earthen bank 3.2 metres wide and 0.5 metres high, with an external ditch. No entrance is visible. The date and purpose of this feature are uncertain. It is clearly too small to have been ploughed, but does lie within an extensive field system of low banks and ridge and furrow. It is reasonable to assume that it is contemporary with the field system and therefore may date to the late medieval or early post medieval period. [4,5] Scheduling revised with new national number (was Somerset 506) on 24 February 2004. [6] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 0. [7] The site was surveyed in March 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 0. [8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Index: Scheduled Monument Notification . DOE (IAM) Record Form, 28 February 1979.
  • <2> Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Field Monument Warden Report.
  • <3> Article in serial: Hallam, O.. 1978. Vegetation and Land Use on Exmoor. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society. 122. P. 44.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 12 March 1997.
  • <5> Survey: RCHME. 1997. Exmoor survey. NMR site SS 83 SE 12.
  • <6> Unpublished document: English Heritage. 4/3/2004. English Heritage to Somerset County Council.
  • <7> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <8> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015.



Grid reference Centred SS 877 342 (17m by 19m)
Map sheet SS83SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11668
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 SE12
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape / NRHE HOB UID: 35791
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34226

Record last edited

Mar 31 2021 4:15PM


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