Source/Archive record SEM8028 - Hoaroak Valley: Historic landscape survey and analysis

Type Report
Title Hoaroak Valley: Historic landscape survey and analysis
Author/Originator
Date/Year 2013
Hazel Riley report
ENPA project name EMLPS
Digital Object Identifier 10.5284/1027561

Abstract/Summary

Hoaroak Cottage, an abandoned 19th Century farmstead, has been the focus of informed conservation work by the Exmoor National Park Authority in 2010-13. It lies at the heart of the Hoaroak Valley, which contains a wealth of historic landscape features reflecting the importance of this part of Exmoor from the Neolithic period onwards. Numerous standing stones and stone settings were placed around the valley around 6000 years ago, and several large burial cairns were used by medieval farmers to mark out the boundaries of their fields. This was an attractive place to live: four Bronze Age round houses, an enclosure and several fields, lie at the heart of a newly discovered settlement complex on the west facing slopes of Cheriton Ridge, opposite Hoaroak Cottage. Routes across Exmoor Forest towards Brendon and the coast used the valley and the higher ground on Exe Plain, and by c. AD 1200 a hamlet of two farms was established close to the prehistoric settlements on Cheriton Ridge. These farms worked two large blocks of fields, growing arable crops and keeping livestock, until c. AD 1400. Periodic cultivation of these fields continued in the post-medieval period. Recent analysis of the structure of Hoaroak Cottage has shown that it may have been built in the late 18th or early 19th Century using a much earlier building as its core. Agricultural labourers, working for the Vellacott family at Furzehill, lived at Hoaroak in the 19th Century. By 1870 it was leased to Frederic Knight and Hoaroak Cottage became the base for the Hoar Oak herding until 1958. The survival of the multi-period settlement complex on Cheriton Ridge, with two phases of Bronze Age settlement and associated field systems adjacent to a medieval farmstead with its fields, is important both regionally for the story of the development of settlement on Exmoor, but also nationally for the implications it has for furthering our knowledge of the early medieval period in Britain.

External Links (1)

Referenced Monuments (47)

  • "The Linton Road" and Gateway, Exe Plain (Monument)
  • Bronze Age burial cairn above Long Chains Combe (Monument)
  • Bronze Age burial cairn on Cheriton Ridge (Monument)
  • Bronze Age burial cairn on Cheriton Ridge (Monument)
  • Bronze Age field system on Cheriton Ridge (Monument)
  • Bronze Age hut platform on Cheriton Ridge (Monument)
  • Bronze Age hut platform on Cheriton Ridge (Monument)
  • Bronze Age hut platform on Cheriton Ridge (Monument)
  • Bronze Age hut platform on Cheriton Ridge (Monument)
  • Enclosure and Field System, South of Cheriton Ridge (Monument)
  • Field System, Cheriton Ridge (Monument)
  • Four clearance cairns on Cheriton Ridge (Monument)
  • Furzehill Common II: Prehistoric stone setting on Furzehill Common (Monument)
  • Furzehill Common III: Prehistoric stone alignment and associated burial cairn (Monument)
  • Hoar Oak Tree (Tree)
  • Hoaroak Cottage (Building)
  • Hoaroak Hill Sheepfold (Monument)
  • Ironstone workings southwest of Gammon's Corner (Monument)
  • Medieval field system on Cheriton Ridge (Monument)
  • Medieval or post-medieval routeway on the west slopes of Furzehill Common (Monument)
  • Medieval platforms south of Cheriton Ridge (Monument)
  • Peat Cutting, East of Hoaroak (Monument)
  • Post-medieval catchwater leat on Cheriton Ridge (Monument)
  • Post-medieval field system at Hoaroak Cottage (Monument)
  • Post-medieval or modern sheep fold south of Hoaroak Cottage (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Furzehill Common (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting west of Hoar Oak Cottage (Monument)
  • Post-medieval quarry near Gammon's Corner (Monument)
  • Post-medieval quarry south of Hoaroak Cottage (Monument)
  • Post-medieval stone working site east of Hoaroak Water (Monument)
  • Post-medieval turf cutting at Hoaroak Farm (Monument)
  • Post-medieval water meadow east of Hoaroak Cottage. (Monument)
  • Prehistoric flint on Cheriton Ridge (Find Spot)
  • Prehistoric standing stones on Furzehill Common (Monument)
  • Prehistoric stone setting northwest of Hoaroak Cottage (Monument)
  • Prehistoric stone setting on Exe Plain (Monument)
  • Prehistoric stone setting on Furzehill Common (Monument)
  • Prehistoric stone setting on Hoaroak Hill (Monument)
  • Prehistoric stone setting on Hoaroak Hill (Monument)
  • Probable Bronze Age field system on Cheriton Ridge (Monument)
  • Probable Burial Cairn, Cheriton Ridge (Monument)
  • Prospecting trench in Hoaroak Valley (Monument)
  • Ruined building and 'D' shaped Sheepfold on Hoaroak Hill (Monument)
  • Stone gate post north of Hoaroak Cottage (Monument)
  • Trial pit overlooking Hoaroak Water (Monument)
  • Trial Pit, Overlooking Hoaroak Water (Monument)
  • Two Burial Cairns, Hoaroak Hill (Monument)

Referenced Events (1)

  • 2013: GPS - Hoaroak Valley landscape study

Record last edited

Dec 12 2018 12:25PM