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HER Number:MDV11858
Name:Braunton Down Field System

Summary

Traces of an extensive open field system to the east of Braunton are discernible in field boundaries on Braunton Down. It extended from the parish boundary in the south to North Down Road in the north.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 494 365
Map Sheet:SS43NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBraunton
Civil ParishHeanton Punchardon
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishHEANTON PUNCHARDON
Ecclesiastical ParishBRAUNTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS43NE/24
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS43NE14

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FIELD SYSTEM (Unknown date)

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1951, SS43NE14 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV341061.

Strip lynchets, not visited but visible from next field.


Slee, A. H., 1952, The Open Fields of Braunton, 142-9 (Article in Serial). SDV341030.

Other details: Plan, photos.


Finberg, H. P. R., 1969, Westcountry Historical Studies, 133 (Monograph). SDV140512.

Traces of an extensive open field system to the east of Braunton are discernible in field boundaries on Braunton Down. System extended from the parish boundary in the south to North Down Road in the north. Some unenclosed strips were still being cultivated circa 1950. No documentary evidence given for medieval date, but medieval origin supported by evidence for Great Field. Braunton Down lay in the Manor of Braunton Abbots. Other details: Figure 1.


Turton, S. D. + Weddell, P. J., 1993, Archaeological Assessment of NRA Braunton Tidal Defence Scheme, 5 (Report - Assessment). SDV81690.

The parish boundary immediately to the north marks the likely southern extent of another extensive open field system, of presumed medieval date, still partially recognisible on Braunton Down. The northern borrow pit which is to be excavated in this area may produce palaeoenvironmental material, and/or dating evidence relating to the nearby field system. Other details: 3.7, Plate 5.


Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit, 1994, Braunton Great Field Management Study (Report - non-specific). SDV341059.

The arable land lay in unenclosed strips in open fields around the village, not only in the present Great Field to the south of the village, but also to the east, around Park and on the boundary with Heanton Punchardon. Braunton Down itself was unenclosed common land used for grazing until 1801, when 79 acres were ploughed and converted to unenclosed arable strips. These were enclosed into hedged fields as late as the 1940s.


Sage, A. J., 1995, NRA Braunton Tidal Defence Scheme: Summary Results of Archaeological Recording, 3 (Report - Watching Brief). SDV341047.

Excavation of borrow pits (to south of field system) recovered no archaeological finds, and there was no evidence of palaeoenvironmental material.


Exeter Archaeology, 1997, Velator Industrial Link: Environment Assessment. Volume I: Environmental Statement, 1 (Report - Assessment). SDV341036.

Other details: Section 8.


Exeter Archaeology, 1997, Velator Industrial Link: Environmental Assessment. Volume II: Technical Annexes, 3 (Report - Assessment). SDV338471.

The 2 fields at the east end of the proposed route, near the junction with Exeter Road, lie within the suggested boundary of an extensive field system on Braunton Down. These have been in use recently as allotment plots, which appear to be of 20th century origin, but some may lie along the the strip boundaries of the former (medieval) field system. Two hedgebanks at SS49043583 to the east and SS48993582 to the west survive as depicted on the 1840 Braunton Tithe Map, circa 1840 and the 1889 25 inch Ordnance Survey map. The western hedgebank may represent the boundary of the field system. Other details: Section 12.


Timms, S. C., 2001, Braunton Down Field System (Personal Comment). SDV341060.

Slee records balks being ploughed up in circa1950, but Ordnance Survey map (revised 1963) still shows some areas of unenclosed strips. Suggested extent of open field outlined on the Tithe Map.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV140512Monograph: Finberg, H. P. R.. 1969. Westcountry Historical Studies. Westcountry Historical Studies. A5 Hardback. 133.
SDV338471Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 1997. Velator Industrial Link: Environmental Assessment. Volume II: Technical Annexes. Exeter Archaeology Report. Photocopy + Digital. 3.
SDV341030Article in Serial: Slee, A. H.. 1952. The Open Fields of Braunton. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 84. A5 Hardback. 142-9.
SDV341036Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 1997. Velator Industrial Link: Environment Assessment. Volume I: Environmental Statement. Exeter Archaeology Report. Photocopy + Digital. 1.
SDV341047Report - Watching Brief: Sage, A. J.. 1995. NRA Braunton Tidal Defence Scheme: Summary Results of Archaeological Recording. Exeter Archaeology Report. 95.67. A4 Stapled. 3.
SDV341059Report - non-specific: Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit. 1994. Braunton Great Field Management Study. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV341060Personal Comment: Timms, S. C.. 2001. Braunton Down Field System. Unknown.
SDV341061Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1951. SS43NE14. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV81690Report - Assessment: Turton, S. D. + Weddell, P. J.. 1993. Archaeological Assessment of NRA Braunton Tidal Defence Scheme. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 93.36. A4 Stapled + Digital. 5.

Associated Monuments

MDV16296Related to: Braunton (Monument)
MDV199Related to: Braunton Great Field (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4407 - NRA Braunton Tidal Defence Scheme Summary of Archaeological Recording
  • EDV946 - Archaeological Assessment of NRA Braunton Tidal Defence Scheme
  • EDV963 - Velator Industrial Link: Environment Assessment

Date Last Edited:Oct 8 2008 4:29PM