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Historic England Research Records

Twitchen

Hob Uid: 35925
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Oare
Grid Ref : SS8224048290
Summary : The remains of a Post Medieval deserted farmstead has been recorded. The farmstead is levelled into a steep slope approached by a narrow track. The main farm buildings are now in a ruinous state visible as stepped linear platforms defined by turf-covered scarps. To the north a pond is evident as a dry hollow with a reinforced wall on its northern side which has been incorporated into a field bank. There does not appear to be any evidence for a prehistoric hillslope enclosure as previously alleged.
More information : Good example of a deserted farmstead, of a class which may have been
in existence in the 15th and 16th centuries, with earthworks and
remains of stone buildings, at Twitchen, Oare, SS 822483. (1)

(SS 82264828). Twitchin (Ruin) (NAT). (No coherent plan). (2)

SS 822483. Derseted farmstead of Twitchen, shown on the 1838 Tithe
map as an occupied farmstead. Within its farmlands the site lies on a terrace on the north side of a hill. It is approached by a deep hollow way running north from the coastal path. Former building sites,including the longhouse, can be clearly seen arranged around a roughly oval area. There are traces of a roughly circular bank around this area which may be a prehistoric hillslope enclosure. (M Aston
Fieldwork 25 1 77 and 24 4 82) (3-5)

The remains of a deserted farmstead levelled into a steep slope about 285m above OD on the eastern side of a northwards projecting hill spur between Twitchen Combe on the west and Holmers's Combe on the east. The site occupies a position sheltered from the SW winds and with excellent views, northwards across the Bristol Channel to the South Wales coast and beyond. The site is approached by a narrow track from the south.
The remains depicted on the 1889 Ordnance Survey (a) and annotated Twitchen (ruin) are now in an extrmely poor condition. The main farm buildings (the longhouse depicted on Authority 3's plan) levelled into the slope on the west, are visible as a stepped linear platform defined by turf-covered scarps. Even with authority 3's plan as a a guide it is difficult to identify the features of the longhouse. Due to the slope some of the structures on the west (barn and dairy) of the longhouse platform must have been at a higher level and were probably approached from the west. fronting the longhouse platofrm is a flat area (garden?) on the east side of which are more amorphous terraced remains of outbuildings (barn and stable?) and yards. To the north a pond, the best preserved feature on the site, is now a dry hollow with a reinforced wall on its north side which has been incorporated into a field bank.
There is no evidence of a prehistoric hillslope enclosure as alleged by previous authorities. This appears to be a misinterpretation of a circular pound combined with part of a modern field boundary and amorphous scarps in this area. (6)

The deserted farmstead recored above (1-6) is visible on aerial photographs. (7-8)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Medieval Settlement Research Group : annual report
Source details : (M Aston)
Page(s) : 9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 24, 1976
Source Number : 2
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" 1889
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 96-98
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 127, 1983
Source Number : 3a
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Culbone Tithe Map 1838 (SRO D/D/Rt 27)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 119
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 122, 1978
Source Number : 5
Source : Medieval Settlement Research Group : annual report
Source details :
Page(s) : 15
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 25, 1977
Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Sainsbury IS 22-NOV-95 RCHME Field Investigation
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6a
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:2500 33.3 1889
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF/540/910 3041-3042 17-OCT-1952
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SS 8248/4 (DAP 6805/12) 15-MAR-1990
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Prehistoric
Display Date : Prehistoric
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -1000000
Monument Type : Enclosed Settlement
Evidence : Uncertain Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Farmstead, Longhouse
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33847
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 84 NW 18
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
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, GLOUCESTERSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL: SEVERN ESTUARY NMP, RAPID COASTAL ZONE ASSESSMENT SURVEY
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2006-04-10
End Date : 2008-11-01