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HER Number:MDV21499
Name:Terraces on Gawlish Cliff, Hartland


Cultivation terraces on Gawlish Cliff, possibly medieval in origin, are visible as roughly parallel earthwork platforms on aerial photographs from 1946 and LiDAR images dating to 2007. A curvilinear bank running east from the uppermost terrace may be associated with the terraces. The terraces may also have extended to the west, although the landform here is more likely to be of geological origin.


Grid Reference:SS 254 273
Map Sheet:SS22NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishHartland
Ecclesiastical ParishHARTLAND

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SS22NE8
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS22NE/8

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CULTIVATION TERRACE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Unknown, Gawlish Cliff, Hartland. Profiles of Field System (Plan - measured). SDV348538.

National Monuments Record, SS22NE8 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV339749.

National Monuments Record, Untitled Source, 3,4. (Aerial Photograph). SDV339747.

Aperghis, I., 1978, Gawlish Cliff Cultivation Terraces (Worksheet). SDV339739.

Cultivation terraces identified on Gawlish clifftop. Description and rough sketch on worksheet.

Le Messurier, B., 1983, Field Terraces (Worksheet). SDV339740.

A north-facing clifftop field has been terraced into five uneven strips. The scarps of the terraces are steep and unvegetated. Terraces shown on 1905 Ordnance Survey 25 inch map. Function unknown. Appear not to be of great antiquity.

National Trust, 1984, Clovelly and East Titchberry (Report - Survey). SDV337536.

Gawlish Cliff field system occupies a north facing cliff-top field. Terraced into five uneven strips, possibly the result, in part, of land slippage. They are similar in form to the strip-lynchets of medieval strip-field systems extended up steep slopes, and may be medieval in origin.

Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/HL, 6-7 (Aerial Photograph). SDV7384.

Several well-defined terraces are visible on the cliff top, with rock faces on the seaward side. A curvilinear bank appears to adjoin the uppermost terrace and may be an enhanced natural feature, as may the boad indistinct linear ridges extending into the field immediately to the west. Other details: DCC DAP/HL 6-7 22-DEC-1986.

Miller, A., 1995, Untitled Source (Interpretation). SDV342010.

Rapid examination of aerial photograph suggests the presence of several possible strip lynchets, probably of medieval date, visible as earthworks from SS255274 to SS251273, around 400 metres north of Gawlish, on edge of Gawlish Cliff.

Cross, A. E. + Dendle, K. W., 1996, Gawlish Field System (Un-published). SDV7960.

Environment Agency, 2007, LiDAR data JPEG image (1 metre resolution), D0076534, D0076539 (Cartographic). SDV349139.

Both the terraces and the curvilinear bank adjoining to the east are visible as earthworks on the LiDAR images. Other details: LIDAR SS2527SW Environment Agency D0076534 24-MAR-2007, LIDAR SS2527SE Environment Agency D0076539 24-MAR-2007.

Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J., 2007, The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report, No. 6 (Report - Assessment). SDV339712.

Wills, A., 2007, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV339744.

National Trust survey drawing not located.

Hegarty, C. + Knight, S., 2011 - 2012, North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV349018.

Several well-defined terraces facing north at Gawlish Cliff are visible on oblique and vertical aerial photographs from 1946, and are particularly clear on a Devon Aerial Photograph from 1986. A low, wide curvilinear bank runs from the eastern end of the uppermost terrace to approximately SS2572127344 and may be an enhanced natural feature. Broad indistinct linear ridges extend from the terraces into the field immediately to the west. These are probably geological in origin, although it is possible that they have also been enhanced by cultivation practices. This may also be the case for a possible lynchet to the south next to Gawlish Cottage. All the features described are visible on LiDAR images dating to 2007.

National Trust, c1983, Untitled Source (Plan - measured). SDV339743.

1:500 survey drawing.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV337536Report - Survey: National Trust. 1984. Clovelly and East Titchberry. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV339712Report - Assessment: Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J.. 2007. The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report. Exeter Archaeology Report. 06.22 (rev.1). A4 Stapled + Digital. No. 6.
SDV339739Worksheet: Aperghis, I.. 1978. Gawlish Cliff Cultivation Terraces. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV339740Worksheet: Le Messurier, B.. 1983. Field Terraces. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV339743Plan - measured: National Trust. c1983. Unknown.
SDV339744Personal Comment: Wills, A.. 2007. Not Applicable.
SDV339747Aerial Photograph: National Monuments Record. SS2527. Unknown. 3,4..
SDV339749National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. SS22NE8. National Monuments Record Index. Unknown.
SDV342010Interpretation: Miller, A.. 1995. RCHME Aerial Photograph Primary Recording Project. Digital.
SDV348538Plan - measured: Unknown. Gawlish Cliff, Hartland. Profiles of Field System. Plan + Digital.
SDV349018Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S.. 2011 - 2012. North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. ACD383/2/1. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV349139Cartographic: Environment Agency. 2007. LiDAR data JPEG image (1 metre resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. D0076534, D0076539. [Mapped feature: #83116 ]
SDV7384Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/HL. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 6-7.
SDV7960Un-published: Cross, A. E. + Dendle, K. W.. 1996. Gawlish Field System. The National Trust Archaeological Site Monitoring Surveillance Report. A4 Single Sheet + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV30773Related to: Gawlish, Hartland (Monument)
MDV30774Related to: Panfield, Gawlish Cliff, Hartland (Monument)
MDV81225Related to: Possible lynchet north-west of Gawlish Cottage (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6132 - North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty NMP Project

Date Last Edited:Jul 16 2015 2:32PM