MSO9254 - Deserted Settlement in Mansley Combe (Monument)

Summary

A deserted settlement in Mansley Combe, consisting of at least six buildings arranged in a linear spread. The buildings are mostly single-celled and have single or opposed entrances, suggesting a medieval or early post-medieval date. They are visible as rubble banks averaging 0.5m high and 2m wide, and lie within an extensive, presumably contemporary, field system (SS 94 SW 35 [MonUID?]) Summary from record MMO547: A deserted settlement consisting of at least six buildings arranged in a north to south linear spread has been recorded in Mansley Combe. The buildings are defined by rubble banks averaging 0.5m high and 2m wide. The settlement has been surveyed with GPS at 1:2500 scale and a number of the structures have been transcribed from aerial photographs. A date within the medieval period is suggested.

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Type and Period (4)

Protected Status

Full Description

Strip lynchets seen from AP marks and plotted on SMR map. (1) A deserted farm site in an area of enclosed land named 'Ham' on the southern slopes of Dunkery, thought to equate with the unlocated site of Mansley in Aston's list. (4) The rhododendron and Scots pine in the valley were planted in the middle of the last century to provide cover for red deer. (5) Local memories suggest that the farm was occupied until the mid nineteenth century. (6) The site lies in a sheltered, south-facing wooded hollow and consists of earthworks of three to four ruined buildings set around a small yard. Nearby is a further square building footing situated within a well-preserved contemporary field system. Elements of the fields survive across much of the present enclosed area, and include a series of small narrow plots defined by stone rubble, having a prehistoric appearance but overlying a probably post-medieval boundary lynchet. There is a suggestion of later emparkment around the farm site, with a 'deer fence' type boundary. (8) See ENPA MSO9254 for a medieval field system possibly associated with this settlement. [10] The site consists of at least six buildings arranged in a linear spread within a sheltered hollow on the south-facing slopes of Mansley Combe. The buildings are all defined by rubbly banks usually 0.5 metres high and up to 2 metres wide (fully described below). They are mostly single-celled and have single or opposed entrances. Their relatively simple plan and arrangement suggest a medieval or early post-medieval date, and there are too many structures to support the previous assertions that this is a single farmstead. BUILDING TABULATION Building 1 (SS 9029 4061) is 11.3 metres by 3 metres (internal). A two-celled platform defined by stony banks and scarps up to 0.6 metres high. No entrance visible. Building 2 (SS 9028 4060) is 11 metres by 5.5 metres (internal). A rectangular building defined by a combination of rubbly banks, wall footings and scarps. The building has been cut through by a path which has caused some erosion but has also revealed the footing of the south-east wall which is 0.7 metres wide. The entrance is obscured by the path. Building 3 (SS 9028 4059) is 11.2 metres by 2.5 metres (internal). A rectangular building running across the slope defined by rubbly banks. An entrance 1.5 metres wide is visible on the south side. Building 4 ( SS 9027 4057) is 10.9 metres by 3.6 metres (internal). It is a rectangular building running down the slope, defined by rubbly banks up to 0.8 metres high and 1.6 metres wide. The entrance is on the east with a large stone block on its north side. Building 5 (SS 9028 4055) is 7.4 m by 4.1 m (internal). It is a rectangular building sited across the slope, and defined by rubbly banks 1 metre wide and 0.7 metres high. Building 6 (SS 9031 4058) is 8 metres by 3.2 metres (internal) It is a probable building, defined by earthen scarps with some stone visible. The interior is very disturbed and uneven. There is a possible entrance on the west side. (9) Buildings surveyed at 1:2500 scale with GPS in July 1997. The buildings lie within an extensive, presumably contemporary, field system (SS 94 SW 35) containing strip lynchets. (11) Surveyed at 1:500 scale in April 1998. (12) This area was surveyed as part of the Exmoor National Mapping Programme. Evidence for at least three of the structures listed above (Building 3, 4 and 5) was visible on specialist oblique aerial photographs, but little more could be confidently identified. Very little was apparent on the vertical coverage. (10 + 16) A digital reconstruction drawing was created in 2013 by Peter Lorimer. [17]

Sources/Archives (17)

  • <1> Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 9040.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 4174.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: September 19. HSL.UK.71-177 Run. 8688.
  • <4> Article in serial: Aston, M. 1983. Deserted Farmsteads on Exmoor and the 1327 lay subsidy. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society. 127. 71-104.
  • <5> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. Carslake, J. The National Trust. 1992.
  • <6> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information or Staff Comments. Mr. Bawden. 1992.
  • <7> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. 1988. IR 6588 146..
  • <8> Article in serial: Preece, A.. 1993. in Webster, CJ and Croft, RA "Somerset Archaeology 1993". Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 137. 150-1.
  • <9> Survey: RCHME. 1997. Exmoor survey. NMR Site SS 94 SW 94.
  • <10> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 94 SW. MD002186.
  • <11> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. R Wilson-North & H Riley 23 July 1997 RCHME Field Investigation.
  • <12> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. R Wilson-North 21 April 1998 RCHME Field Investigation.
  • <13> Collection: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Exmoor Project.
  • <14> Survey: Mansley Copse/pencil survey . 1:500. General: Permatrace. Pencil.
  • <15> Survey: Mansley Copse/ink survey . 1:500. General: Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <16> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 9040/09 (15869/19) 20-JAN-1998.
  • <17> Artwork: Lorimer, P.. 2013. Mansley Combe, Exmoor: Digital reconstruction drawing. Digital.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 9029 4054 (82m by 159m)
Map sheet SS94SW
Civil Parish CUTCOMBE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Related Articles (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO547
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11863
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SW94
  • National Park
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1087864
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34441

Record last edited

Nov 26 2013 10:49AM

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