MSO9246 - Medieval field system in Mansley Combe (Monument)


A strip field system of probable medieval date is visible on aerial photographs as low earthworks on north side of Mansley Combe. The system is believed to be contemporary with the deserted settlement to the south.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

On the south facing slopes of Mansley Combe is an extensive area of enclosed land between the unenclosed mass of Dunkery Beacon to the north, and the River Avill to the south. This represents an attempt to enclose and cultivate this land in the medieval and post medieval periods. The upper parts of this enclosed land have not been improved, and in this area was recorded an extensive prehistoric field system (MSO9256). The lowest slopes are enclosed by a substantial ditched boundary and within the area so defined are at least six stony lynchets running along the slope and a number of extant boundaries which incorporate lynchets. These represent a medieval field system and as such are presumably contemporary with the deserted settlement to the southwest (MSO9254). [2] The remains of six or seven curvilinear lynchets are visible on aerial photographs as earthwork banks on the south facing slopes of Mansley Combe, above the River Avill. On the aerial photographs available to the Exmoor National Mapping Programme survey the lynchets appear as fragmentary low and rather spread earthworks, up to 200 metres long and between 3 and 8 metres wide. As described above, an extant boundary roughly central to the earthworks at circa SS 9056 4071 may be part of the system and a survival from the original enclosure. The earthworks may be aligned on Bin Combe and are orientated roughly eastnortheast to westsouthwest, gently climbing Ham Hill as they extend to the southwest. A gulley and short length of bank to the north may be the remains of a field boundary associated with the lynchets field system. [3,4] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Index: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Record Card. SS 94 SW 35.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. R Wilson-North, 23 July 1997.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 9040/ (23343/24) (1 March 2004).
  • <4> Archive: Hegarty, C.. 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 94 SW. MD002186.
  • <5> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1086526, Extant 24 May 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO533
  • Local Heritage List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SW35
  • National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1086526
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34441
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35264



Grid reference Centred SS 290 140 (771m by 655m) Aerial survey
Map sheet SS21SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Related Articles (1)

Record last edited

Nov 2 2023 9:29AM


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