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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 36052

Hob Uid: 36052
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Luccombe
Grid Ref : SS8556242978
Summary : A complex of earthworks and stony banks visible on aerial photographs are thought to represent the remains of Nutscale farmstead in Luccombe parish. The earthworks comprise a series of field boundary banks surrounding the vestiges of a building, probably the farm buildings, on south facing slopes at the confluence of Nutscale Water with its tributaries in Nutscale Combe and Little Hill Combe. The date of the settlement is uncertain. Originally suggested as medieval it may be of 19th century date.
More information : SS 85534286. A complex of stone-built rectangular post medieval buildings, surviving as stoney banks up to 1.0m high, was examined by McDonnell SW of Nutscale Reservoir in 1981. A hollow way runs along the S side of the site and abandoned field banks join it from the N and W. There are the remains of possibly four buildings with outshuts and the opposing doorways of the central rectangular building suggest that a passage longhouse may be at the heart of this complex.

No farmstead or buildings are shown on the 1841 Stoke Pero tithe map although a large enclosure of 34 acres of waste is indicated and labelled `Nutscale, Lucott Moor and Black Hill'. (1) & (2)

Nutscale farmstead is centred at SS 8556 4287 on a shelf in a sheltered position at 365 metres O.D. The site lies in a corner of a field with a gentle southern slope, cresting steep slopes to the southwest and south where a small combe incorporates a tributary stream to nutscale Water. The most prominent remains are those of a three cell building, oriented east to west. It is now visible as turf covered banks, 2 to 2.5 metres wide and mostly 0.6 metres high; a few exposures indicate an original construction of coursed slabs and blocks of the local sandstone. These may be set in a coarse mortar but not enough stonework can be seen to confirm this.
The two eastern rooms with traces of an intercommunicating doorway, probably represent the farm house, 13 metres long and 5 metres wide. A gap at the south west corner appears to be the entrance; depressions in the walling at the north-west corner, and the south west corner of the eastern room are less certain as entrances. Attached to the western end of the house is the third room, 7 metres long and 5 metres wide, with an entrance in the south west corner but no direct access to the house. This could be a barn or shippon; from it a narrow track leads to a field to the north-west.
A platform south of the house incorporates an angle of walling, perhaps a building, but so ruined that the original form cannot be distinguished.
To the north of the house are foundations of a building 5 metres square with an entrance gap on the south side, the walling being less than 0.2 metres high. Referred to by S.M.R. (3) as a lean-to it is built against the wall of a yard some 25 metres long and 8 metres wide, with an entrance way to the field to the east.
The complex is served by a hollow way on the south side of the steading and which extends westward to the stream in the combe and eastward to a central field. Between 0.5 and 1.3 metres deep, it is bounded on the south by a hedgebank which not only follows the crest of the slope but demarcates the cultivated land from the waste ground on the side of the combe.
The O.S. 1" 1809, based upon drawings of 1802-3, depicts the area as unenclosed and part of Lucott Hill. Similarly Greenwood's map of 1822 seems to show enclosure ceasing at Blackford. The intake, still named Nutscale on the O.S. 6" 1978, is so named on the Tithe Map of 1842. The accompanying schedule describes it as 43
acres of pasture (not Aston's 34, or 48 acres, S.M.R. source 2) occupied by a William Peake with a 3 acre meadow called Nutscale Wood which was at SS 8605 4495, 1.5 miles north, in Berry Castle Combe.
Both were on lease by Thomas Bowring and others. Nutscale enclosure lay beside 900 acres of moorland pasture described as "Lucott Moor and Black Hill¿.
No buildings and no subdivisions are shown on the map. Today at least seven fields can be traced in Nutscale, three being subdivided into strips about 60 metres wide by banks 2 to 3 metres across and 0.5 metres high. A.P.s of 1947 (5) and 1973 (6) show faint traces of possible rig and furrow of narrow type but this is not necessarily
indicative of medieval occupation. Since 1978, when the O.S. 6" depicted the area as under bracken, the ground has been improved to pasture save for the steep combe slopes.
McDonnell (1) suggests the possibility of a longhouse type farmstead but this seems unlikely, and the available evidence indicates a possible 19th century steading of fairly short duration. (7)

A complex of earthworks and stony banks visible on aerial photographs are thought to represent the remains of Nutscale farmstead in Luccombe parish. Situated between Luccombe Moor to the north and Great Hill to the south, the earthworks comprise a series of field boundary bank that surround the vestiges of a building, probably the farm buildings, at circa SS 85574287. The linear fir within the pattern of the extant field boundaries and earthworks define seven or eight fields or enclosures around the buildings, following the south and east facing slopes formed at the confluence of Nutscale Water with its tributaries in Nutscale Combe and Little Hill Combe. Evidence for narrow ridge and furrow cultivation can be seen in the field centred on circa 85644294 (6). As described above, the morphology of the remains is not typical of a medieval settlement and a post-medieval date for its creation and desertion is more probable. (8-9)


Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 85
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 126, 1982
Source Number : 2
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 94
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Vol(s) : 127, 1983
Source Number : 3
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Somerset C.C. SMR, dated 30-SEP-86
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 MJF 29-SEP-87
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Source Number : 5
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : RAF CPE/UK/1980 3243 11-APR-47
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Source Number : 6
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : NMR OS/73109 853-4 29-APR-73
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Source Number : 7
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 NVQ 15-OCT-87
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Source Number : 8
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 106UK/1501 3202-3203 (F20) 13-MAY-1946
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Source Number : 9
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 543/2821 F64 157-8 27-APR-1964
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Source : Nutscale/ink survey
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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 : Farmstead, Field System, Narrow Ridge And Furrow
Evidence : Ruined Building, Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33700
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 84 SE 32
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 84 SE 32
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1987-10-15
End Date : 1987-10-15
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01