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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 915627

Hob Uid: 915627
Location :
Devon
North Devon
Martinhoe
Grid Ref : SS6735048450
Summary : A rectangular embanked ditch enclosure measuring 22.5 metres by 19.5 metres is visible on aerial photographs and at ground level on Martinhoe Common. It is thought to date to the post medieval period, possibly being constructed between 1889 and 1904, but its function and purpose are unclear.
More information : SS 6735 4846. A rectangular embanked ditched enclosure measuring internally about 22.5m by 19.5m (0.043ha internal area). It is situated at about 260m OD slightly below the crest of a spur on a gentle NE-facing slope with panoramic views in an area previously of moorland converted to pasture in 1945. (1)

The enclosure is not shown on the 1840 Tithe Map (2) nor the 1889 OS map (3) but appears on the 1904 OS (4) with a smaller rectangular extension some 14m to the SW of which there is now no trace.

The turf-covered stony enclosure bank, 1.5m across its flat top and some 4m wide at its base, is from 0.4m to 0.7m high internally and from 0.5m to 1m high externally and has been robbed in places. There is no trace of an entrance. The external ditch, on average 2.5m wide and 0.2m deep, is less well preserved probably due to silting and ploughing. The interior overlies an angled linear feature 2.2m wide and 0.2m high. On the Air Photos (5) it can be seen extending to the NW and SE but there is now no trace of it continuing beyond the enclosure on the ground. McDonnell (6) calls this a field drain, but it is hard to ascertain if it is a lynchet, a low bank, or a backfilled field drain.

Set into the inner scarp of the SW, uphill side, of the enclosure bank are the remains of an apparent building stance, about 6.5m NW/SE by 2.5m. McDonnell (6) suggests this is probably a double stone feeding trough but it is cross hatched as a building on the OS map (4). The outer scarp of the enclosure bank and the ditch do not continue across the SW side of this platform so, in the light of there being no trace of an entrance through the enclosure bank elsewhere, the platform may have been condstructed over an entrance.
The bank appears to be unnecessarily massive for the size and type of enclosure. It does not appear to be a 'tree ring' type of enclosure but appears to be a modern construction although its purpose is not clear.

Published Survey 1:2500 Accepted. (7)

The enclosure described above is clearly visible on aerial photographs from 1946 onwards as a series of substantial earthworks, with an apparent entranceway on the south-west side. The function and purpose of this enclosure is not clear from aerial photographs; however, as stated above the enclosure is not shown on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1889 but is depicted on the 2nd Edition of 1904. It is likely to have been constructed around this time (8-9).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Bridle, H. 1991 Woody Bay
Page(s) : 86
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Source Number : 2
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Martinhoe Tithe Map 1842 Devon Rec off (Ref 10-1A).
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Source Number : 3
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:2500 Devon Sheet 2:15.
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Source Number : 4
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1904 1:2500 Devon Sheet 2:15.
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Source Number : 5
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : RAF 106G/UK1655 11-Jul-46 3159-60.
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Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : McDonnell, R. in Devon SMR SS 64 NE 53 31-08-82.
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Source Number : 7
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Sainsbury, I.S. 7-Jun-93 RCHME Field Investigation.
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Source Number : 8
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 106G/UK/1655 3160 11-JUL-1946
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Source Number : 9
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : MAL 76067 123 04-AUG-1976
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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 : Enclosure
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 17939
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 64 NE 69
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: WEST EXMOOR PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01