MSO9192 - Post-medieval cow stall with yard southwest of Codsend Moor (Monument)


The remains of a post-medieval building with associated yard and enclosure is first shown on Greenwood's 1822 map of Somerset and is likely to have been associated with early 19th Century enclosure.

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Full Description

SS 868 401 and SS 867 403. The remains of two post-medieval buildings and associated yards and enclosures were recorded by McDonnell on the southwest part of Codsend Moors in 1981. The site on the west represents a cow stall with a small yard and those to the east a small, two-room cottage. Both buildings were abandoned at about the turn of the century. This record relates to the cow stall. [1] Rectangular, stone-built, mortared building remains with 3 rooms and a cupboard or 4th small room. No fire place or chimney recorded but the amount of rubble at each end of the building may represent the remains of these features. Evidence of broken slates along the back edge of the building suggesting the roof sloped down towards the back. Remains up to 1.5 metre high and plenty of rubble. The two rooms of the yard are about 1.5 metres high and traditionally stone-faced, on the inner side, they are in good condition. These walls are secondary to the building against which they butt on the east side. A smaller stone wall runs across the front of the yard between the two banks but this is broken down and no real entrance identifiable. A line of stones runs up the west side of the yard forming a low platform about 0.10 metre high. [2] This site is not depicted on Day and Masters' Map of Somerset 1782 [3] or on the Ordnance Survey 2 inch drawing of 1803-4 [4] but it is depicted for the first time in 1822 on Greenwood's Map of Somerset [3]. Aston notes two manorial documents recording the site in 1826 and 1836 [5]. The whole of Codsend Moor was inclosed in 1804 and the Inclosure Map and apportionment show no trace of the site [6]. With this evidence we can assume that the site grew up as a smallholding on one of the inclosed parcels of moorland in the early 19th century. In 1842 the building and yard are described as "house" and "garden" in the occupancy of William Owen [7] but by 1889 it was uninhabited [8]. [9] The description and sketch plan in [2] provides a fair record to which may be added the following: The building measures 17 metres x5.3 metres overall, is aligned along the contour and cut into the slope. Four cells/rooms have internal dimensions (working west to east) of 4.3 metres x3.7 metres , 4.3 metres x1.9 metres , 4.3 metres x1.1 metres and 4.3 metres x3.1 metres . However, the partition walls stop short of the south long wall, creating a common, covered passage along this side. Two breaks in the south wall close to its west end indicate entry from the yard. The walls are of roughly-coarsed local stone, generally 0.5 metres -0.7 metres wide and 0.5 metres high but these measurements are greater at both ends where collapse has left rubble spreads up to 3.3 metres wide and 2.1 metres high. It is possible that chimney/fireplace features are concealed here as noted by [2], but gable collapse could help to account for the quantities of material. Only two roof slates were observed, both inside the building. The yard adjoins the building on the south side and has maximum dimensions of 19 metres west-east and 10.6 metres north-south. The south wall is straight and parallel to the building's axis; it is of similar overall width and constructional technique but is considerably denuded. The east and west walls are in fact earth and stone banks faced internally, 2.3 metres wide at the base and c.1.6 metres high. Both are evenly curved, bowing outwards. The yard is entered through a gap between its west bank and the wouthwest corner of the building. At sometime a similar gap between the east yard bank and the southeast corner of the building was blocked with walling material of a different type, clearly abutting both building and bank. The east yard bank also forms part of the north-south field wall here, the blocked gap indicating contemporaneity at some point of field wall and building. The striking difference in wall types between the west and east sides and the south side of the yard attests to constructional phasing but the field evidence is not sufficient to demonstrate priority. At some time between 1842 [7] and 1889 [8] the building may have been modified to form a byre or similar, stalled structure, given the ground plan described above. [10] McDonnell's National Grid Reference is inaccurate. [11]

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Serial: Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 1851-. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. Volume 126 (1982), 81 (R McDonnell).
  • <2> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. Site visited 10 April 1981.
  • <3> Serial: Somerset Record Society [series] . 76: Day and Masters (1782), Greenwood (1822).
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey Map Collection. 1803-4. 2 Inch Drawing. 2 Inch.
  • <5> Article in serial: Aston, M.. 1983. Deserted Farmsteads on Exmoor and the Lay Subsidy of 1327 in West Somerset. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 127. 91.
  • <6> Unpublished document: 1804. Cutcombe and Exford Inclosure Map and Apportionment.
  • <7> Map: 1842. Cutcombe Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <8> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.
  • <9> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. DJ Graty, NMR.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Pattison, P. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 10 February 1988.
  • <11> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. A Preece, 1994, Somerset Record Office.



Grid reference Centred SS 8684 4024 (35m by 23m)
Map sheet SS84SE

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Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

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Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11182
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SE33
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 36055
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33509
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33512

Record last edited

Oct 17 2014 5:22PM


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