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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1478333

Hob Uid: 1478333
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exmoor
Grid Ref : SS8222043052
Summary : Evidence of peat cutting can be seen on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards to the north-east of Larkbarrow Farm. The peat extraction may cut the course of a water channel thought to be of probable nineteenth century date and may be opportunistically exploiting this earthwork following its abandonment. It is one of several areas of extraction visible on Madacombe thought to be of mid to late-nineteenth century date, 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 the north-east of Larkbarrow Farm. Two apparently discrete groups of pits are clearly visible, centred on circa SS 82124302 and SS 82314307, but the ground between them appears disturbed which may support the interpretation that the cuttings are more extensive than visible on aerial photographs.
The pits range in size from less than 5 metres long to 20 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.
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 peat extraction may cut the course of a water channel thought to be of probable nineteenth century date and may be opportunistically exploiting this earthwork following its abandonment. 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. (1-2)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF 540/931 (F20) 4103-5 08-NOV-1952
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
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Source Number : 2
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : BURTON, R.A. 1989 THE HERITAGE OF EXMOOR. BARNSTAPLE R.A.BURTON
Page(s) : 72, 232-3
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

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 282
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1478139
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478160
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478165
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478350
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478356
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478409
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1343899
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