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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1478240

Hob Uid: 1478240
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Porlock
Grid Ref : SS8388443639
Summary : Peat cutting can be seen on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards on the north facing slopes of Black Mires above Weir Water, Porlock Allotment. It is one of several extensive areas of extraction of probable nineteenth century date visible in this area, although smaller scale peat cutting probably took place from the medieval period into the twentieth century.
More information : Evidence of peat cutting of probable nineteenth century date can be seen as irregularly shaped pits on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards. Two types of pit are visible along a north to south spur on the north-facing slopes of Black Mires, above Weir Water, Porlock Allotment, in total covering an area of nearly 8 hectares centred on circa SS 83944368.
On the lower, northern slopes the pits are closely spaced and possibly inter-cut, displaying both curved and stepped sides in plan, which has been interpreted as evidence of sustained and systematic peat cutting, perhaps by several generations of the same family in a preferred location, as part of their commoners' rights.
To the south on the higher slopes, around circa SS 83784344, the pits are much narrower, a little as two metres wide, but up to 60 metres long. These may be evidence of smaller scale extraction or prospecting for new peat beds. Several of these appear to abut or cut the course of the Simonsbath to Porlock Mineral railway and are therefore probably mid-nineteenth century in date.
Due to the difficult nature of the evidence, which can vary in appearance on aerial photographs from year to year, the transcription attempts only to convey the general area and character of the excavations and should be taken only as indicative of the extent of individual pits.
The heyday of peat cutting on Exmoor was in the first half of the nineteenth century, although cutting probably took place on a smaller scale from the medieval period well into the twentieth century. (1-2)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 106G/UK/1501 (F20) 4066-7 13-MAY-1946
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 106G/UK/1655 (F20) 4084-6 11-JUL-1946
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Peat Cutting
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 84 SW 273
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1478228
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478234
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478245
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478315
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01