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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 36285

Hob Uid: 36285
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Porlock
Grid Ref : SS8430043650
Summary : A small enclosure is visible on air photos. During field investigation the feature was noted to measure 52 metres by 43 metres in diameter with a well-defined entrance on the north side. It is defined by a prominent bank and broad external ditch 0.4 metres deep. The bank has been robbed on the west and south sides. The date and function of the monument is uncertain, but it is likely to be prehistoric. The enclosure earthwork has certainly been used as ballast for the nearby railway trackbed.
More information : SS 843436. A small enclosure. (1)

(SS 84304365). Traces of ditch and bank, circular form, about 60metres diameter. (2)

SS 84304365. A pound noted on air photographs was confirmed on the ground. It is approximately 70m in diameter, with substantial banks and traces of an outer ditch. The well-defined entrance is on the north side and although no hut circle walls are visible,
two levelled platforms are present. A large circular feature in the south-west quadrant was visible on the air photographs but was not seen in the field. (3)

Centred at SS 8431 4373 on west facing slopes on Porlock Allotment is an enclosure. It is oval in shape, measuring 52 m by 43 m and is defined by a prominent bank up to 1.2 m high and broad external ditch 0.4 m deep. The feature has been badly disturbed so that the bank has been largely robbed away on the west and south, surviving only on north and east. The ditch is discontinuous, fading away on the downslope side, and having been infilled on the east. A break in the bank and ditch on the northern side marks a possible entrance. The date and function of the enclosure are uncertain, but it is most likely to be prehistoric. There is no conclusive evidence for settlement internally, although various scarps and a slight platform (possibly a hut stance) are visible in the centre of the enclosure.
The feature lies close to the trackbed of the Simonsbath to Porlock Railway (SS 84 SW 44), which passes on the eastern side and has infilled the ditch. The very disturbed nature of the enclosure is probably due to its proximity to the railway. The earthwork seems to have been used as a ballast quarry and may even have served as a location for a works store or temporary accommodation.

To the south of the enclosure is a field bank some 160 m long running south-west to north-east from SS 84294 43662 to SS 84432 43748. It is not clear whether it is associated with the enclosure although it appears to be prehistoric.
Surveyed with GPS at 1:1000 scale, August 1996. (4)

The much disturbed and mutilated remains of this enclosure can be seen as subtle earthworks on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards. The enclosure appears roughly pentagonal in shape although this impression may be enhanced by the truncation of the south-east bank by the course of the Simonsbath to Porlock Railway and the loss of the bank on the south-western face. Internally the transcribed enclosure measures 47 metres across at its widest point, enclosing an area of circa 1450 square metres.
No internal features suggestive settlement evidence are can be discerned on the photographs available to the survey, but patterns of vegetation may have been previously mistaken for hut circles or platforms. (5-6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Bob Silvester, Exeter University 1976
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Source Number : 2
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : OS 73 087. 687, 8
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Source Number : 3
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 116
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Vol(s) : 124, 1980
Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : R Wilson-North & H Riley 01-AUG-1996 RCHME Field Investigation
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Source Number : 5
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 540/931 (F20) 3054-5 08-NOV-1952
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Source Number : 6
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SS 8443/15 (23340/25) 01-MAR-2004
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Source : Porlock Allotment/enclosure/hut platforms/SS 84 SW 29, 57/ink survey
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Bronze Age
Display Date : Bronze Age
Monument End Date : -700
Monument Start Date : -2600
Monument Type : Oval Enclosure
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Oval Enclosure
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33947
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 84 SW 29
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 36303
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 36286
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478262
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