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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1478228

Hob Uid: 1478228
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exmoor, Porlock
Grid Ref : SS8377242941
Summary : An area of peat cutting can be seen on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards on the higher west facing slopes of Black Mires, Porlock Allotment. It is one of several extensive areas of extraction visible in this area of probable nineteenth century date, although smaller scale peat cutting probably took place from the medieval period into the twentieth century.
More information : An area of peat cutting of probable nineteenth century date can be seen as irregularly shaped pits and disturbed ground on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards, on the higher west facing slopes of Black Mires, Porlock Allotment, centred on circa SS 83844294.
A number of small rectilinear pits less than 5 metres across are visible, but the clearest features are significantly larger and more irregularly shaped pits. Between 25 and 95 metres in length, these pits can be interpreted as evidence of sustained peat cutting in a preferred location. For instance, several pits have stepped faces indicating systematic cutting, perhaps by several generations of the same family as part of their commoners' rights. The pits are not densely spaced, as can be seen elsewhere on Exmoor, but well dispersed, with about 20 metres between the smaller pits and up to circa 200 metres separating the larger workings.
In total, the cutting covers around 7 hectares but due to the difficult nature of the 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 individual pits.
This is one of four discrete areas of peat extraction to the north-west of Block Mires, differentiated by different styles of peat cutting, perhaps indicating they were worked by different individuals or groups.
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. (1-2)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF 540/931 (F20) 3055-6 08-NOV-1952
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF 540-931 (F20) 4099-4101 08-NOV-1952
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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 271
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1478234
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478240
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478245
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478315
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1477983
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478030
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