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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1477898

Hob Uid: 1477898
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exmoor
Grid Ref : SS8054241206
Summary : An extensive area of peat cutting of probable nineteenth century date can be seen on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards on the upper slopes of Elsworthy, Exmoor parish. The peat cuttings, known locally as turfs, are physically associated with the ditches of a nineteenth century drainage system and were probably opportunistically exploiting the excavations of the failing drainage system during the second half of the nineteenth century.
More information : An extensive area of peat cutting of probable nineteenth century date can be seen as irregularly shaped pits and disturbed ground on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards, centred on circa SS 80544114. The most clearly visible pits vary in size from less than 5 metres in length to almost 200 metres long, and probably represent the deepest features. The longest pits are clearly opportunistically exploiting the excavations of the failing drainage system to gain access to the peat, and therefore were probably cut during the second half of the nineteenth century.
More extensive but shallower workings are probably present but are visible only as a disturbed ground surface. Due to the difficult nature of this evidence, which can vary in appearance on aerial photographs from year to year, the transcription attempts only to convey the area and general character of the clearest excavations, and should not be taken as a definitive indicator of the extent of the peat cuttings.
The heyday of peat cutting on Exmoor was probably in the first half of the nineteenth century, although small scale cutting probably continued well into the twentieth century. (1-4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3162 11-APR-1947
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Source Number : 3
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/73109 979-80 29-APR-1973
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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 : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 18801
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 84 SW 237
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1477891
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1477922
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