MSO8702 - Post-medieval field system on Hawkridge Common (Monument)


A pre-inclosure field system of post-medieval date, visible as a series of earthern banks. There is also a possible rectangular enclosure.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Groups of banks forming rectangular enclosures and trackways (MSO8734). Also possible building shape. [1,2] The enclosure is a spring point and the soil has slumped down the valley slope making a depression but this is a natural feature. Formerly part of MSO8734. [3] A feature was seen on the eastern flank of Hawkridge Common from aerial photographs. [4] A coaxial field system of earthen banks with external ditches is centred around SS 8571 3149 within pasture on the eastern side of Hawkridge Common, to the west of the River Barle. The banks vary in dimensions although they average between 0.7m and 1m high. Further up the slope the banks become weaker until there is only a ditch evident. The banks are probably of post-medieval origin. The earthworks enclose a rectilinear area although the banks following the slope, particularly those uppermost, continue beyond this feature. The enclosure has been cut in two by a later Inclosure field bank running up the hill which has disrupted this earlier phase. On the south side of the later Inclosure, the banks are in a reasonably good condition despite quarrying within the vicinity. In the area to the north of the later field bank the interior of the enclosure is in a very poor condition containing a great deal of water which has run into channels. The area is very wet and has been further damaged by animal puddling, particularly on the uphill end where the course of the bank becomes indeterminate. [4,5] A banked field system and bank and ditch defined rectangular enclosure of possible post-medieval date are visible on aerial photographs as fragmentary earthworks centred on circa SS 8569 3151, on the northeast facing slopes of Hawkridge Common. The visible field boundaries are aligned roughly perpendicular to the contours of Hawkridge Common, climbing the hill between 285 and 325 metres above ordnance datum. No evidence for structures or building platforms can be seen, but the rectangular enclosure, measuring circa 105 by 60 metres in size, appears to be sub-divided and may be the remains of a former farmstead. However, these earthworks are in poor condition and it is possible that this impression of organisation is created by the formation of the water channels described by the above authority. A small area of ridge and furrow is visible approximately 45 metres to the south of the possible rectangular enclosure. [6-8] 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> Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 8531.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: September 19. HSL.UK.71-178 Run 85. 9323.
  • <3> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. E Dennison, Somerset County Council, 29 January 1988.
  • <4> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. HP Chapman, 9 February 1995, RCHME Field Investigation.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF CPE/UK/2082 4028-9 (19 May 1947).
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 543/2821(F62) 0261-2 (27 April 1964).
  • <8> Archive: English Heritage. 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 SE. MD002198.
  • <9> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 932921, Extant 1 February 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO356
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12567
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 SE34
  • National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 932921
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34325
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35774



Grid reference Centred SS 8572 3143 (426m by 490m)
Map sheet SS83SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Feb 1 2022 3:21PM


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