MMO215 – East Myne farmstead, Minehead (Monument)


The remains of a deserted medieval and/or post-medieval farmstead is visible as a group of ruinous buildings approached by a hollow way from the west of the site. Part of the site was used for tank training during the Second World War.

Type and Period

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 9298 4829 East Myne (NAT) [1] SS 929483 Deserted farmstead of East Myne. It was shown as a farmstead on the 1843 Tithe Map, [2] but was deserted in World War II when a tank range was created in the area. There are ruined buildings on the site. This is one of three candidates for the deserted site of Myne, mentioned in Domesday (see also MSO8022 and MSO7585). [2,3]

A further candidate for Mene or Myne is recorded at SS 93054860 – see MSO7648. [4]

East Myne is centred at SS 9298 4829 at the head of the western arm of Grexy Combe. It, therefore, occupies a sheltered and favourable location at 230 metres. The original date of East Myne farm is unknown, but it was clearly occupied at the end of the 19th Century when the farm buildings are shown in use on the 1st and 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey maps [6,7].

The local farmer (Wydon Farm, Minehead, Somerset) states that the farm ceased to function as a unit in the early years of the 20th Century, but the buildings continued to be occupied on an irregular basis. By 1940 the whole area was taken over by the army and used for tank training. A target railway associated with this phase (MSO7665) lies immediately to the northeast of the farm. The site now consists of the ruins of the former farm approached by a hollow way; these features lie to the south of two modern farm sheds. The ruins are substantial and comprise random stone walls up to 3 m high, but more usually 1 metre to 1.4 metres. Although still upstanding, they are rapidly decaying due to natural agencies and farm animals from the nearby sheds. The remains can be precisely correlated with the Ordnance Survey mapping of 1889: A hollow way approaches the farm from the west and enters a courtyard with the farmhouse on its northern side. To the south are several barns and a well. The hollow way leaves the yard at its east end and runs northeastwards past a garden and outlying barn towards the fields. [8]

The deserted farmstead referred to above [1-8] is visible as a group of ruinous buildings and earthworks on aerial photographs. The site is centred at SS 9298 4829 and covers an area that measures 162 metres long by 83 metres wide at its widest points. The site is as described above [8].

The farmstead is associated with a possible water meadow located to the southeast which is recorded as MMO694. [9,10]

It was a pre-conquest farm, the land held in chief in 1086 by Geoffrey de Mohun. A broken ditch and bank crosses the existing fields from SS 9306 4789 to SS 9345 4847 which could be the original boundary of East Mene. The farm was kept going until 1862 or 1865 when it was amalgamated with Wydon farm. House continued to be occupied until c. 1939. [11]

Sources/Archives (16)

  • [1] SEM7530 Map: Ordnance Survey. 1974. 1:10,000 scale map: 1974. 1:10000.
  • [2] SSO300 Map: 1843. Minehead Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • [3] SMO5538 Monograph: edited Caroline and Frank Thorn. 1980. Domesday Book, 8 : Somerset . 24-25.
  • [4] SMO7225 Article in serial: Aston, M. 1982-3. Deserted Farmsteads on Exmoor. Somerset archaeology and natural history : the pro. 127. 77, 82, 95-96.
  • [5] SMO5308 Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. DJG, 4 February 1987.
  • [6] XY SEM6703 Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889, Somerset 34(3). [Mapped feature: #39901 ]
  • [7] SEM7190 Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1904, 23(16).
  • [8] SMO7329 Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 26 February 1998.
  • [9] SMO4069 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 9348/15 (15865/11) (20 January 1998).
  • [10] SMO7542 Archive: Severn Estuary Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment: SS 94 NW. MD000133.
  • [11] SSO1777 Article in serial: Osborn, B.. 1983. Parish surveys in Somerset five: Minehead Without. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 5. 23.
  • [12] SSO1235 Monograph: Hancock, F. 1903. History of Minehead.
  • [13] SSO1276 Monograph: Illingworth, W (ed). 1812-18. Rotuli hundredorum.
  • [14] SSO293 Collection: Luttrell papers. DD L Box 26.1.
  • [15] SSO708 Survey: Western Archaeological Trust. 1980s. Exmoor Aerial Photograph Survey. 9248.
  • [16] SSO282 Aerial photograph: July 1946. LHL 106G.UK.1655. 4009.

Source The Historic Environment Record for Exmoor National Park. accessed 19th October 2021

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