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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1478375

Hob Uid: 1478375
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Oare
Grid Ref : SS8087244395
Summary : Evidence of extensive peat cuttings can be seen on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards over approximately 23 hectares of Stowey Allotment, South Common. It is one of several areas of extraction visible in the vicinity of Larkbarrow Farm and is thought to be of mid- to late-nineteenth century date.
More information : Evidence of peat cutting can be seen as large, irregularly shaped pits and disturbed ground on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards, covering an area of over 23 hectares of Stowey Allotment, South Common, centred on circa SS 80804452.
The visible pits are very extensive and irregularly shaped, often displaying a one or more curved or stepped edges. In combination with the pits size, these characteristics have been interpreted as evidence of sustained and systematic peat cutting, perhaps by several generations of the same family returning to a preferred location and expanding an existing cutting.
Identifiable pits can be seen as small as 5 metres across, but the majority of the pits are over 45 metres wide, with the largest single feature measuring over 175 metres north to south.
Between the transcribed pits, areas of disturbed ground indicate the presence of further earthworks not readily identifiable or coherent enough to transcribe from aerial photographs. Due to the difficult nature of this evidence, which can vary in appearance on aerial photographs from year to year, the transcription attempts only to convey the general area and character of the excavations and should be taken only as indicative of the extent of the peat cuttings.
The heyday of peat cutting on Exmoor was in the first half of the nineteenth century, although cutting probably took place on a smaller scale from the medieval period well into the twentieth century. (1-4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF 106G/UK/1655 (F20) 4080-1 11-JUL-1946
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF 540/931 (F20) 4064-5 08-NOV-1952
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Source Number : 3
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : ENPA JAS 059-060 29-AUG-1985
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Source Number : 4
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : BURTON, R.A. 1989 THE HERITAGE OF EXMOOR. BARNSTAPLE R.A.BURTON
Page(s) : 72-232-3
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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 : Peat Cutting
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 84 SW 287
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1478356
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478364
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478372
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01