HeritageGateway - Home

Login  |  Register
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.


HER Number:MDV563
Name:Earthwork lynchets on Saunton Down

Summary

At least 5 earthwork lynchets are visible on aerial photographs from 1942 on the south side of the hill behind the Saunton Hotel. They are interpreted as agricultural terraces possibly from the Saxon period. Two possible additional lynchets to the north may be enhanced natural features. The ridges are clearly visible on Lidar images from 2006-2007, although scrub obscures the eastern, western and northern extents.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 444 379
Map Sheet:SS43NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBraunton
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBRAUNTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS43NW/7

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CULTIVATION TERRACE (VIII to Late Medieval - 701 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

English Heritage, 09/03/2015, Lynchets approximately 34m north-west of Saunton Sands Hotel, Saunton Road, Saunton, Barnstable, Devon (Correspondence). SDV357943.

Site inspection took place on 29th January 2015. These linear earthworks extend circa 400 metres east to west along the contour, and up to 120 metres north to south up the slope. They comprise a group of approximately parallel linear scarps which divide the slope into a series of at least five comparatively level terraces or platforms. They are clearly visible on both aerial photographs and the LiDAR information; the terraces are between 5-10m wide, separated by slopes measuring up to 3.5m high and 7-14m wide. Although covered by gorse and scrub vegetation, the earthworks are considered to survive undisturbed. There are two further possible narrow lynchets to the north, but they are probably natural features since they are similar in form to the smooth linear ridges visible to the west. However, they appear to have also been enhanced by soil movement caused by medieval cultivation.


English Heritage, 10/11/2014, Lynchets on Saunton Down, North Devon (Correspondence). SDV357400.

English Heritage is currently undertaking a strategic designation project in the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, following on from an aerial photographic interpretive survey of the area undertaken on behalf of English Heritage and Devon County Council. As well as assessing some sites which have been highlighted as having potential national importance, the project will also re-assess some sites where revisions to the existing statutory designation have been identified, among them the above named monument for amendment.


Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

'Camp' shown above series of earthworks.


Wall, J. C., 1906, Ancient Earthworks, 624 (Article in Monograph). SDV341465.

Other details: Plan.


Young, T., 1908, On the Occurrence of Human Remains of Neolithic Age Near Croyde, 260 (Article in Serial). SDV342395.

Lines of earthworks are noticeable on the slope of the hill behind the Saunton Hotel.


Shorter, A. H., 1938 - 1939, Earthworks near Saunton, 319-320 (Article in Serial). SDV342411.

According to the Tithe Apportionment the field was called 'The Lags' and was under furze and pasture then as at the time of writing.


Royal Air Force, 1942, RAF/140/S747/H56, NMR RAF/140/S747/H56 PO-3020-PO-3021 SS4437/1-2 06-FEB-1942 (Aerial Photograph). SDV350313.

A series of lynchets are visible as earthworks.


Shorter, A. H., 1947 - 1949, Terraces at Saunton Sands, Devon, 131-133 (Article in Serial). SDV342412.

The level parts of the terraces are about 4.5 - 5 metres wide. The name of the field probably derives from the Old English meaning 'fallow land'. Other details: Plan.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1951 - 1953, SS43NW 1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV342410.

Possible Saxon Cultivation Terraces.
1. 'Camp' centred at SS44553799 on Ordnance Survey 1905 6 inch map.
2. Strip Lynchets centred at SS44463794.
3. Appear to be disused cultivation terraces. The field is called 'The Lags' according to the Tithe Apportionment.
4. Five very pronounced lynchet-lke slopes with a maximum drop of 3.5 metres and a maximum width between them of 10 metres. They fall on the steep southern slopes of a hill with less pronounced lynchets occurring near the gently sloping hill-top. All approximately parallel. The impression gained by the vertical drop of the lynchets and by the almost flat and narrow strips between them is that they were deliberately constructed in this fashion though 2 lesser ones near the hill-top and not shown on the Ordnance Survey 6 inch map or 1905 are true lynchets. Similar features in the coastal area near Langton Matravers in Dorset were classed as Saxon. Other details: Photograph.


Royal Air Force, 1952, RAF/540/949, NMR RAF/540/949 5080 24-NOV-1952 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349761.

A series of earthwork lynchets are visible. Map object based on this source.


Gardner, K. S., 1957, A Mesolithic Survey of North Devon, 164 (Article in Serial). SDV7582.

A system of earthworks runs along the southern slope (of Saunton Down) which, in spite of the title 'Camp' given it on some maps, has the appearance of being a series of agricultural terraces.


Royal Air Force, 1957, RAF/58/2205 F22, NMR RAF/58/2205 F22 0048-0049 05-JUL-1957 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349748.

The earthworks are visible, with some scrub growth.


Environment Agency, 2006-2007, LiDAR data JPEG image (1 metre resolution), LIDAR SS4338SE Environment Agency D0072578 NOV-2006 to FEB-2007 (Cartographic). SDV349850.

The central part of the earthworks are clearly visible but scrub obscures the eastern, western and northern extents.


Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J., 2007, The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report, 1093,1099 (Report - Assessment). SDV339712.

Strip lynchets.


Ordnance Survey, 2009, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV341569.

'Strip Lynchetts' shown. Map object formerly based on this source.


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

A series of earthwork lynchets are visible on the hillside above Saunton Sands on aerial photographs from 1942 and on images derived from Lidar information captured in 2006-2007. The earthworks are probable medieval agricultural terraces and extend circa 400 metres east to west along the contour, and up to 120 metres north to south up the slope. Five lynchets are clearly visible, between 5 and 10 metres in width separated by slopes between 7 and 14 metres wide. An additional two possible narrow lynchets to the north could be geological formations, since they are similar in form to smooth linear ridges to the west, but if so it is likely that they have been enhanced by soil movement caused by medieval cultivation. The ridges are clearly visible on Lidar images from 2006-2007, although scrub, which started to form here during the 1950s, obscures the eastern, western and northern extents.


Historic England, 2015, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV358087.

PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS The earthworks and buried remains of agricultural terraces of probable medieval date which are situated in an elevated location on a steep, south-facing slope above Saunton Sands.
DESCRIPTION These linear earthworks extend circa 400 metres east to west along the contour, and up to 120 metres north to south up the slope. They comprise a group of approximately parallel linear scarps which divide the slope into a series of at least five comparatively level terraces or platforms. They are clearly visible on both aerial photographs and the LiDAR information; the terraces are between 5-10m wide, separated by slopes measuring up to 3.5m high and 7-14m wide. Although covered by gorse and scrub vegetation, the earthworks are considered to survive undisturbed.
There are two further possible narrow lynchets to the north, but they are probably natural features since they are similar in form to the smooth linear ridges visible to the west. However, they appear to have also been enhanced by soil movement caused by medieval cultivation and are therefore not included in the scheduling.
EXCLUSIONS The post and wire fencing and electricity poles are excluded from the monument, but the ground beneath these features is, however, included.
Map object based on this source.


Historic England, 29/04/2015, Lynchets on Saunton Down, Braunton, North Devon, Devon (Correspondence). SDV358150.

The lynchets 34m north-west of Saunton Sands Hotel are recommended for scheduling.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION
The medieval lynchets 34m north-west of Saunton Sands Hotel, Saunton are recommended for scheduling for the following principal reasons:
* Survival: the site survives well as upstanding earthworks and buried remains which are undisturbed
by later agricultural activities;
* Potential: they will contribute to our understanding of medieval farming practices in this part of Devon and provide an insight into the former exploitation of areas now considered to be unproductive.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (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. 1093,1099.
SDV341465Article in Monograph: Wall, J. C.. 1906. Ancient Earthworks. Victoria History of the County of Devon. Hardback Volume. 624.
SDV341569Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2009. MasterMap. MasterMap. Digital.
SDV342395Article in Serial: Young, T.. 1908. On the Occurrence of Human Remains of Neolithic Age Near Croyde. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 40. A5 Hardback. 260.
SDV342410Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1951 - 1953. SS43NW 1. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV342411Article in Serial: Shorter, A. H.. 1938 - 1939. Earthworks near Saunton. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 20. Unknown. 319-320.
SDV342412Article in Serial: Shorter, A. H.. 1947 - 1949. Terraces at Saunton Sands, Devon. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 23. Unknown. 131-133.
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
SDV349748Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1957. RAF/58/2205 F22. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/58/2205 F22 0048-0049 05-JUL-1957.
SDV349761Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1952. RAF/540/949. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/540/949 5080 24-NOV-1952.
SDV349850Cartographic: Environment Agency. 2006-2007. LiDAR data JPEG image (1 metre resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SS4338SE Environment Agency D0072578 NOV-2006 to FEB-2007.
SDV350313Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1942. RAF/140/S747/H56. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF/140/S747/H56 PO-3020-PO-3021 SS4437/1-2 06-FEB-1942.
SDV357400Correspondence: English Heritage. 10/11/2014. Lynchets on Saunton Down, North Devon. Assess Site for Scheduling. Digital.
SDV357943Correspondence: English Heritage. 09/03/2015. Lynchets approximately 34m north-west of Saunton Sands Hotel, Saunton Road, Saunton, Barnstable, Devon. Letter and Consultation Report. Digital.
SDV358087National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2015. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV358150Correspondence: Historic England. 29/04/2015. Lynchets on Saunton Down, Braunton, North Devon, Devon. Notification of Designation Application. Digital.
SDV7582Article in Serial: Gardner, K. S.. 1957. A Mesolithic Survey of North Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 89. A5 Hardback. 164.

Associated Monuments

MDV562Related to: Flint scatters on Saunton Down (Monument)
MDV561Related to: Flints found on Cliff Edge at Saunton Down (Monument)
MDV103017Related to: Lynchet earthworks east of Croyde (Monument)
MDV571Related to: Lynchet earthworks south of Croyde (Monument)
MDV103036Related to: Possible lynchet earthworks south-west of Croyde (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

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

Date Last Edited:May 10 2017 3:49PM