Source/Archive record SEM8135 - Turf Cutting on Exmoor: An archaeological and historical study - project report

Type Report
Title Turf Cutting on Exmoor: An archaeological and historical study - project report
Author/Originator
Date/Year 2014
Hazel Riley report
ENPA project name MIRES
Digital Object Identifier 10.5284/1037648

Abstract/Summary

A study of the archaeology and history of peat exploitation on Exmoor’s moorlands has examined the documentary evidence for turbary on Exmoor Forest and the commons; looked at turf cutting implements from Exmoor in several museums, researched oral histories and collections of historic photographs, and carried out field investigation and large scale survey of several disused turf pits and associated features. Turf cutting and the right of turbary is recorded in documents relating to Exmoor Forest and the implementation of Forest Law from the 13th century onwards. The free suitors of Withypool and Hawkridge had the rights of turbary on Exmoor Forest for each suit attached to their respective tenements in the 17th century, but courts and customs had probably existed with little change from the 12th and 13th centuries. Turbary was often part of a ‘package’ of common rights, given with properties from at least as early as the 15th century on the commons. The turf cutting implements, historic photographs of turf cutting and oral histories from moorland edge farmers and Exmoor Estate workers combine to give a vivid picture of how important turf was a fuel for many of Exmoor’s farms and villages in the early 20th century. The archaeological remains of turf cutting on Exmoor range from large areas of disused turf pits, which can contain details of the last season of cutting in the form of spade marks, to small mounds which are the remains of turf stacks. Some of the moorland edge farms had dedicated stores for turf in the farm yard, known as turf houses and several of these have been identified.

External Links (1)

Referenced Monuments (109)

  • 19th Century miners cottages at Cornham Ford (Monument)
  • 19th Century peat cutting at Elsworthy (Monument)
  • 19th Century peat cutting north of Larkbarrow Farm (Monument)
  • 19th Century peat cutting northeast of Larkbarrow Farm (Monument)
  • 19th Century peat cutting northwest of Larkbarrow Farm (Monument)
  • 19th Century peat cutting on Kittuck Hill (Monument)
  • 19th Century peat cutting on Madacombe (Monument)
  • 19th Century peat cutting on Madacombe (Monument)
  • 19th Century peat cutting on northwest facing slopes of Lucott Moor (Monument)
  • 19th Century peat cutting on southern slopes of Swap Hill (Monument)
  • 19th Century peat cutting on southern slopes of Swap Hill (Monument)
  • 19th Century peat cutting on western side of Squallacombe (Monument)
  • Birchanger Farm (Building)
  • Hallslake Farm (Building)
  • Higher Tippacott Farm, Brendon (Building)
  • Lyshwell Farm, Molland (Building)
  • Medieval or later peat cutting pits west of Dunkery Beacon (Monument)
  • Medieval or post-medieval peat cutting from Withypool Common to Humbers Ball (Monument)
  • Medieval or post-medieval peat cutting northeast of Driver Farm (Monument)
  • Medieval or post-medieval peat cutting on Exford Common (Monument)
  • Medieval or post-medieval peat cutting on Furzehill Common (Monument)
  • Medieval or post-medieval peat cutting on Furzehill Common (Monument)
  • Medieval or post-medieval peat cutting on Swap Hill (Monument)
  • Medieval or post-medieval peat cuttings on Hadborough (Monument)
  • Medieval to modern peat cutting on Lucott Moor (Monument)
  • Medieval to modern peat cutting southeast of Alderman's Barrow (Monument)
  • Medieval to modern peat cuttings south of Lang Combe Head (Monument)
  • Mortuary enclosure east of the Chapman Barrows (Monument)
  • North Furzehill Farmhouse (Building)
  • Peat cutting on Manor Allotment (Monument)
  • Peat cutting on Stowey Allotment (Monument)
  • Peat Cutting, Alderman's Barrow Allotments (Monument)
  • Peat Cutting, Black Mires (Monument)
  • Peat Cutting, Black Mires (Monument)
  • Peat Cutting, Black Mires above Weir Water (Monument)
  • Peat Cutting, Black Mires above Weir Water (Monument)
  • Peat Cutting, Kittuck Mead (Monument)
  • Peat Cutting, Lucott Moor (Monument)
  • Peat Cutting, Madacombe (Monument)
  • Peat Cutting, North-West of Alderman's Barrow (Monument)
  • Peat Cutting, South of Larkbarrow Corner (Monument)
  • Peat Cutting, South of Long Holcombe (Monument)
  • Peat Cutting, South-West of Long Holcombe Cross (Monument)
  • Peat Cutting, West of Wellshead Plantation (Monument)
  • Possible Bronze Age barrow or post-medieval peat stack on Furzehill Common (Monument)
  • Possible peat cutting site northwest of Horner Gate (Monument)
  • Possible post-medieval peat cutting baulk northwest of The Mound (Monument)
  • Possible post-medieval peat cutting on Cussacombe Common (Monument)
  • Possible post-medieval peat cutting south of Moorhouse Ridge (Monument)
  • Post-medieval or modern peat cutting south of Farmcombe Plantation (Monument)
  • Post-medieval or modern peat cuttings on The Chains (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting at Lucott Moor (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting between Long Holcombe and Hangley Cleave (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting east of Hoaroak (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting east of The Chains (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting north of Pinkery Farm (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting north of The Warren (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting northeast of Pinkery Farm (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting northeast of Pinkery Farm (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting northwest of Brendon Two Gates (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting northwest of Pinkery Farm (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Brendon Common (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Burcombe (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Deer Park and Little Halscombe (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Dure Down (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Exe Plain (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Exe Plain (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Furzehill Common (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Furzehill Common (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Goat Hill (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Halscombe (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Hoaroak Hill (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Horcombe (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Horsen Hill (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Long Holcombe (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Porlock Common (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Shilstone Hill (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Swap Hill (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Swap Hill (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on The Chains (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on The Chains (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on The Chains (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on The Chains (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on The Chains (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Thornworthy Common (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting on Withycombe Ridge (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting southeast of Cussacombe (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting southeast of Pinkworthy Pond (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting southwest of Cornham Ford (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting southwest of The Chains Valley (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting southwest of Yeo Mill [outside Park boundary] (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting west of Blackpitts Farm (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cutting west of Hoar Oak Cottage (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cuttings at Litton (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cuttings north of Warren Farm (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cuttings northeast of Darlick Farm (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat cuttings northwest of Driver Farm (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat stacks north of Larkbarrow Farm (Monument)
  • Post-medieval peat stacks on Sherdon (Monument)
  • Post-medieval shippon at Cloggs Farm (Building)
  • Post-medieval turf cutting at Hoaroak Farm (Monument)
  • Post-medieval turf pits on Porlock Allotment (Monument)
  • Post-medieval turf stack on Challacombe Common (Monument)
  • Post-medieval turf stack on Swap Hill (Monument)
  • Post-medieval turf stack on The Chains (Monument)
  • Post-medieval turf stack on The Chains (Monument)
  • Post-medieval turf stack on The Chains (Monument)
  • Post-medieval turf stack south of the Chapman Barows (Monument)
  • Undated mound on The Chains (Monument)

Referenced Events (1)

Record last edited

Jul 13 2021 5:02PM