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Historic England Research Records

Furzebury Brake

Hob Uid: 36801
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Minehead Without
Grid Ref : SS9358048290
Summary : A possibly Iron Age hill-fort, Furzebury Brake, is an oval enclosure defined by a substantial bank with a slight external ditch. There are three breaks in the rampart, to the west, north east and the north. Of the three breaks in the rampart, that to the north appears most likely to be original, whilst those on the northeast and west are probably later. The bank is now badly affected by erosion. This is a scheduled monument.
More information : [SS 93584830] Furzebury Brake (NAT) (1)

Fursebury Brake is an oval ringwork 205ft x 175ft, with a single
rampart and ditch, 35ft overall and 16ft on scarp.

It stands on a knoll, on a hill, flanked by the sea on one side and a
steep valley on the other. The interior, is not level like Martinhoe
[Ro Signal Stn - SS 64 NE 2] nor is there any tendency to straightness in the side. The ditch cuts through a bit of the knoll, and drops
down on the seaward side ot it.

There is no sign of an outer enclosure, and the site commands no
special view.

Thus it is 'reasonably certain that the site was chosen for its
defensive advantage by natives, not for look-out by a Roman
Commander'. (2)

This small earthwork of Iron Age type, has three breaks in the
rampart. That to the north appears to be modern but the two to the
east and west may be original entrances. The earthwork is under
pasture, but the ditch has been reduced by ploughing.
Surveyed at 1:2500. (3)

Also known at East Myne Camp. (See illustrations card). (4)

No change. (5)

SS 937482. East Myne Camp. Scheduled. (6)

SS 936483. East Myne or Furzebury Brake is a badly eroded site on
improved pasture. The defences consist of a degraded bank, no more
than a scarp in many places, and an outer ditch. The interior is
level and featureless. There is no indication of an entrance.
(Visited by Burrow 5 4 73) (7)

Traces of a field system have been noted to the south east (SS 94 NW
33). (8) (7 & 8)

(SS 93584830) Furzebury Brake (NAT)
Settlement (NR) (9)

Additional bibliography. (10 & 11)

Furzebury Brake is centred at SS 93581 48299, on the end of an isolated spur overlooking the Bristol Channel on the north and the steep slopes of Grexy Combe on the south and east.
It consists of an oval enclosure, presumably of Iron Age date, defined by a substantial bank with a slight external ditch. The bank is some 0.9 m high internally but when viewed from the ditch, stands to 2 m. The bank is reasonably well defined, but the ditch has been infilled by ploughing especially on the north, north-west, south and south-west.
An entrance is visible on the western side and has been utilised as a farm gateway. A second possible entrance is visible on the east. The interior of the enclosure is featureless and no traces of settlement are visible.
A lynchet scarp runs away from the north-eastern side of the enclosure. This is clearly later in date, but may perpetuate a contemporary field system.
The enclosure is on land owned by the National Trust. A management fence has been erected around the site, but in places this impinges on the ditch (or course of the ditch) around the monument.
Surveyed with GPS as part of RCHME's East Exmoor Project. (12)

The Iron Age hill-fort referred to above (1-12) is visible on aerial photographs. The oval shaped enclosure is centred at SS 9358 4829 and is defined by a bank measuring about 5m across. The enclosure covers an area that measures 60m long by 50m wide. There are three breaks in the bank, one to the west (SS 9355 4829), northeast (SS 9361 4832) and north (SS 9358 4833). The entrance to the north appears most likely to be the original, whilst those on the northeast and west are probably later resulting from a track which crossed through the enclosure. This later track is possibly a result of Second World Military tank training activity nearby (SS 94 NW 114, UID 1124052). The bank is still quite prominent to the northeast but the southern section is badly eroded and only a slight earthwork remains. (13-14)

Source 3 may be garbled or in error when it refers to the northern beak being modern, the more recent accepted interpretation is that the northern break is orginal and the other breaks later. (15)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1928-38
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
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Source Number : 2
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Letter AO/C/F.4 No 41 (Lady A Fox 24 4 61)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
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Source Number : 11
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Anc Ewks & Camps of Somer 1924 plan illus (E J Burrow)
Page(s) : 86-7
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Minehead 2 (F Hancock)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
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Source Number : 12
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : R Wilson-North 26 Feb 1998 RCHME Field Investigation
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 13
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF/106G/UK/1655 4007-4008 11-JUL-1946
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 14
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SS 9348/26 (23825/18) 19-FEB-2005
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 15
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Record Compiler's comment, Robin Page, 29-SEP-2009.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 NVQ 05-OCT-62
Page(s) :
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Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : The Victoria history Somerset, volume two
Source details :
Page(s) : 496
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2, 1911
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 JP 22-JUL-65
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
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Source Number : 6
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : DOE(IAM) AMs Eng 2 1978 120
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 7
Source : Hillfort and hill-top settlement in Somerset in the first to eighth centuries A.D.
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 91
Source Number : 8
Source : The archaeology of Exmoor : Bideford Bay to Bridgwater
Source details :
Page(s) : 78,79,85,201
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:10000 1974
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Arch of Somer 1931 (D P Dobson)
Page(s) : 239
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Enclosed Settlement, Oval Enclosure, Hillfort
Evidence : Conjectural Evidence, Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33797
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 24031
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 94 NW 14
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1124052
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 94 NW 14
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1962-10-05
End Date : 1962-10-05
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 94 NW 14
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1965-07-22
End Date : 1965-07-22
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