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Historic England Research Records

Cornham Ford Workings

Hob Uid: 35067
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exmoor
Grid Ref : SS7495138777
Summary : An area of post medieval iron workings thought to range in date from the 16th, 19th and 20th centuries. They had previously been given the name "Roman adit" as they were situated on the site of supposed "ancient" workings attributed to the Romans, but which were more likely 16th century. The area was extensively worked by the Dowlais Iron Company in the mid 19th century, and briefly reopened in the early twentieth century.
More information : SS 749387. Mid 19th century iron workings at Cornham Ford were given the name Roman adit as they were on the site of supposed 'ancient' workings attributed to the Romans, but which were probably 16th/17th century. There are remains of several adits and a spoil heap from the19th century workings. (1,2)

SS 749384. Remains of iron working, 16th?,19th and 20th century, along the River Barle at Cornham Ford and in the Burcombe Valley. The name 'Roman' applied to some of these should be taken as an indication of their antiquity rather than in the literal sense.

The site is to be subject to large scale survey. For interim report/annotated sketch map, based on brief reconnaissance, see paper archive. (3)

The iron mines and extractive pits of Cornham Ford Iron workings can be seen on aerial photographs as earthworks around the River Barle and Cornham Ford. They extend across an area of approximately 11 hectares, and range in form from small prospecting pits and associated spoil heaps to large openworks and quarries measuring up to 100 metres across. According to Orwin and Burton, a number of horizontal and vertical shafts and adits were also constructed here, but these are difficult to identify on aerial photographs.
Orwin and Burton both suggest that the mines here were first open in the reign of Elizabeth I, when German miners were invited to England; Orwin refers to several places on Exmoor which have names of possible Germanic origin, including Ison Common and Ison Cleave. However, these lie some distance from Cornham at Wheddon Cross (SS 93 NW) and aside from the local tradition that the mines lay on the site of ancient workings there is nothing to support this theory (4-6).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : W Somer Mineral Railway & Bredon Hills Iron Mines 1979 11-12 (R Sellick)
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Source Number : 2
Source : The Batsford guide to the industrial archaeology of central southern England : Avon County, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire
Source details :
Page(s) : 147
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Sainsbury, IS 21-Sep-1995 RCHME Field Investigation
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Source Number : 4
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 543/2821 (F63) 174-75 27-APR-1964
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Source Number : 5
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Orwin, C.S. 1929 "The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest" London, Oxford University Press page(s) 116-117, 126-27
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Source Number : 6
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Burton, R.A. 1989 "The Heritage of Exmoor" Tiverton, Maslands Ltd page(s) 145-48, 202-04, 217-18
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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 : Ironstone Workings, Mine, Extractive Pit
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : 20th Century
Monument End Date : 1918
Monument Start Date : 1901
Monument Type : Ironstone Workings, Mine, Extractive Pit
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33065
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MSO6812
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 73 NW 24
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1050172
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 35006
Relationship type : Is referred to by

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, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 73 NW 30
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1995-08-22
End Date : 1995-08-22
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01