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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1478350

Hob Uid: 1478350
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exmoor
Grid Ref : SS8206043330
Summary : Evidence of peat cutting can be seen on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards to approximately 400 metres the north of Larkbarrow Farm. The peat extraction appears to be associated with drainage ditches of probable nineteenth century date and may be opportunistically exploiting these earthworks following their abandonment. It is one of several areas of extraction visible to the east of Larkbarrow Farm thought to be of mid- to late-nineteenth century date, some of which are very extensive. However, 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 on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards, covering an area of circa 2.5 hectares approximately 400 metres to the north of Larkbarrow Farm at circa SS 82064333.
The pits are irregularly shaped but appear to be associated with drainage ditches of probable nineteenth century date, and it is probable that the peat cutters opportunistically exploited these linear earthworks following their abandonment, probably in the second half of the nineteenth century. The expansion of the relict drainage ditches resuled in the pattern of earthworks now visible. They are mostly rectilinear in plan and often display a stepped edge 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. The identifiable pits vary in size but range up to 25 metres wide and over 70 metres in length.
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. (1-3)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3065-6 11-APR-1947
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF 540/931 (F20) 3060-1 08-NOV-1952
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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 283
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 : 1478333
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478356
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478364
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