Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Lynchets approximately 34m north-west of Saunton Sands Hotel

A Scheduled Monument in Braunton, Devon

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Latitude: 51.1198 / 51°7'11"N

Longitude: -4.2235 / 4°13'24"W

OS Eastings: 244478.211918

OS Northings: 137963.508787

OS Grid: SS444379

Mapcode National: GBR KH.9RW5

Mapcode Global: VH3Q6.R31W

Entry Name: Lynchets approximately 34m north-west of Saunton Sands Hotel

Scheduled Date: 29 April 2015

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1424711

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Braunton

Built-Up Area: Saunton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Braunton St Brannock

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The earthwork and buried remains of agricultural terraces of probable medieval date.

Source: Historic England


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.

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.

The post and wire fencing and electricity poles are excluded from the monument, but the ground beneath these features is, however, included.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The medieval lynchets to the north-west of Saunton Sands Hotel, Saunton are scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Survival: as good survivals which are undisturbed by later farming activities;
Potential: they will contribute to our understanding of agricultural practices in this part of Devon and provide an insight into the former exploitation of areas now considered to be unproductive.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hall, D, The Open Fields of England, (2014), 247
North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty NMP Project: A National Mapping Programme Report, S Knight & C Hegaty, April 2013, accessed 19 January 2015 from
Devon Historic Environment Record, MDV563 Earthworks on Saunton Down

Source: Historic England

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