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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1478315

Hob Uid: 1478315
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Porlock
Grid Ref : SS8440043990
Summary : Evidence of peat cutting can be seen on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards on the north-west facing slopes on Lucott Moor, above Weir Water. It is one of several areas of extraction of possible nineteenth century date visible on Porlock Common, some of which are very extensive, although smaller scale peat cutting probably occurred on Exmoor from the medieval period into the twentieth century.
More information : Evidence of peat cutting can be seen as large irregularly shaped pits and disturbed ground on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards on a north-west facing slopes on Lucott Moor, above Weir Water, Porlock Common. The visible group of pits is relatively small, covering an area of approximately 1 hectare, centred on circa SS 84404399. The pits range in size from 10 to 40 metres across, and are mostly rectilinear in plan but often displaying a curved long edge and stepped shorter edges.
These characteristics have 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. Surrounding the pits, areas of differential vegetation growth indicates that the ground surface is disturbed which may support the interpretation that the cuttings are more extensive than can be observed on aerial photographs. 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.
Several of the pits to the south of the group appear to abut the course of the Simonsbath to Porlock Mineral railway. If this is the case, they are therefore probably of mid-nineteenth century date or later. However, further fieldwork is required to establish the relationship between to two classes of feature.
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. (1-3)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 106G/UK1501 (F20) 4206 13-MAY-1946
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 106G/UK/1655 (F20) 4085 11-JUL-1946
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Source Number : 3
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 281
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