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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 36099

Hob Uid: 36099
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Luccombe
Grid Ref : SS8902042340
Summary : Rectilinear enclosure of a possible medieval or later date, close to the prehistoric and medieval settlement complex at Sweetworthy. It is visible as an earth bank with outer ditch measuring between 1m and 1.7m high. The ditch is 0.8m deep. The function of the enclosure is uncertain. As the monument has three entrance gaps it may have been an animal pen.
More information : (Centred SS 890423) `U' enclosure (/ post-medieval field bank) visible on air photograph near Sweetworthy hill-slope enclosure (SS 84 SE 12). (1,2)

Centred at SS 8902 4233 is an unfinished enclosure of rectilinear form, situated on a heather covered north slope of 1 in 5, between the 350 and 390 metre contours. It is formed by an earth bank with an outer ditch, most complete along the southern, uphill side, between SS 8894 4220 and SS 8911 4225, at which points it turns at right angles to extend downhill.
This bank is from 1 to 1.7 metres high, and the ditch 0.8 metres deep. In its 180 metre length it has three entrance gaps, 2 to 5 metres wide and at intervals of about 50 metres. In one the outer ditch simply fades at the gap; the others have distinct causeways.
The western downhill arm is 76 metres long, ceasing at SS 8891 4226
with an open ended ditch and a rounded bank. The eastern arm is 230
metres long, ending at SS 8913 4246 with a fading bank and rounded
ditch 0.7 metres deep. A gap 80 metres along this side is the result of a disused track crossing the earthwork, and 30 metres beyond bank and ditch make an inexplicable dog-leg turn eastwards for 25 metres. There is no evidence of any field system associated with the four prehistoric homestead enclosures in the vicinity, and since this earthwork has neither the size, shape or constructional form that might be expected the suggestion made by S.M.R. source 2 cannot be sustained.
It seems more likely to have been an intended newtake, attached to the 70 hectares of Bagley and Sweetworthy that had been enclosed before 1809 and at least in part must have had a medieval origin (SS 84 SE 21 and 31). But, whether medieval or later, the three entrance gaps are puzzling, unless they are requirements for the penning and sorting of sheep/stock. (3)

The enclosure was located to the National Grid using GPS and discussed in its archaeological context as part of the RCHME Exmoor project. Full details in the survey report (4).

A rectilinear enclosure of a possible medieval or post-medieval date is visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork bank close to the prehistoric and medieval settlement complex at Sweetworthy. The bank is in total approximately 450 metres long. The outer ditch described above could not clearly be seen on the aerial photographs available to the survey, possibly due to vegetation cover. The enclosure earthworks were transcribed from aerial photographs as part of the Exmoor National Mapping Programme survey. The transcription has improved upon the locational data as described above by authority 3 but the description of the monument form is unchanged. A possible earthwork feature similar in form has been identified approximately circa 175 metres to the south-west, but further investigation is required to establish whether this is archaeological in origin and if there is any relationship between the two features. (5, 6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : (West AP No 27534)
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Source Number : 2
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 83,94
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Vol(s) : 127, 1983
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 NVQ 03-AUG-87
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Source Number : 4
Source : The prehistoric enclosures and medieval and post-medieval settlements at Bagley and Sweetworthy, Luccombe, Somerset : an archaeological survey by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England
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Source Number : 5
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF CPE/UK/1980 F20 3174-5 11-APR-1947
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Source Number : 6
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/73109 955-6 29-APR-1973
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Source : Sweetworthy/ink survey
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Source : Bagley and Sweetworthy
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Enclosure, Stock Enclosure
Evidence : Earthwork, Conjectural Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Field Boundary
Evidence :

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33711
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MSO7357
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 84 SE 50
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 35980
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1473426
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1473455
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1473468
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 36096
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 84 SE 49
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1987-08-03
End Date : 1987-08-03
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01