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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1478245

Hob Uid: 1478245
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Porlock
Grid Ref : SS8417643516
Summary : Peat cutting of possible eighteenth or nineteenth century date 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 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 can be seen as densely grouped irregularly shaped pits on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards. The pits cover an area of nearly 2.5 hectares centred on circa SS 84184352, on a north facing spur on the slopes of Black Mires Hill, above Weir Water, Porlock Allotment.
The pits are closely spaced and possibly inter-cut, displaying 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.
Several of the pits to the south of the group appear to be overlain by the course of the Simonsbath to Porlock Mineral railway. If this is the case, they are therefore probably of possible eighteenth or early nineteenth century in date. However, further fieldwork is required to establish the relationship between to two features.
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. (1-4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF 106G/UK/1655 (F20) 4084-6 11-JUL-1946
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF 540/931 (F20) 3054-5 08-NOV-1952
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Source Number : 3
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SS 8443/3/289 (SF1459) 01-MAR-1979
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Source Number : 4
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : BURTON, R.A. 1989 THE HERITAGE OF EXMOOR. BARNSTAPLE R.A.BURTON
Page(s) : 72, 232-3
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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 274
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1478228
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478234
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478240
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