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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 909567

Hob Uid: 909567
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exmoor
Grid Ref : SS7285039900
Summary : Part of a packhorse track leading from Porlock to Barnstaple is visible here as a hollow way and is in use as a rough track. The route is believed to be of medieval date, although it probably continued to be used throughout the post medieval period as well.
More information : For details see county SMR (1).

Bridlepath/packhorse track Porlock to Barnstaple.

An ancient way from Porlock by Hawkcombe Head, Acmead (now Larkbarrow), Preyway, Exe Head, Driver and Moles Chamber to bratton and Barnstaple. A portion of it may be seen between Driver and Moles Chamber (2). MacDermot states it was never more than a bridle-path, though no doubt it was used for pack-horse traffic.

SS 73154000 to SS 70003858. Part of this route (south from the B3358, Challacombe to Simonsbath road near Driver Cottages (now renamed Moorland Way) southwards to Mole's Chamber) is shown as a Bridle Road on the 1890 Ordnance Survey plan(b). The first 250m of this route as still in use as a rough track from the B3358 to Acklands. Where the Acklands track turns south at SS 73043995 several hollow ways are visible crossing it. From here it continues as a series of hollow ways, some partly utilised as a path. The route follows the south side of an unnamed stream till it reaches Lew Combe where it crosses over and follows the north side of the stream up to the site of Mole's Chamber. Here it crosses another ancient way from Lynton to South Molton. From 100m south-west Mole's Chamber to the plan edge the modern enclosure road is on the route. (3-4)

A section of this routway can clearly be seen on aerial photographs as a series of interweaving ruts and sunken hollows, east of Mole's Chamber crossing the stream between Black Hill and Great Vintcombe. In other areas the track is barely discernible on aerial photographhs. This section is also depicted on a map of Exmoor Forest at the time of enclosure reproduced in C.S. Orwin and marked as the "Barnstaple Bridleroad." The same map marks numerous "watering places" where tracks and roadways crossed rivers or streams, and it is likely that this crossing was used for the same purpose (5-6).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Somerset CC SMR, 29-SEP-1986.
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Sainsbury, IS 2-Aug-1995 RCHME Field Investigation
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Source Number : 3
Source : The history of the Forest of Exmoor
Source details :
Page(s) : 13
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Source Number : 4
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" 1890 Somer 44:7
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Source Number : 5
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/73109 1039-40 29-APR-1973
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Source Number : 6
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : map "Plan of Exmoor Forest at the time of Inclosure 1816" reproduced in Orwin, C.S. 1929 "The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest" London, Oxford University Press facing page 20.
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Trackway, Hollow Way, Packhorse Road
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Trackway, Packhorse Road, Hollow Way
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MSO7005
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33156
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 73 NW 31
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1484779
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1484829
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1484833
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: WEST EXMOOR PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01