Link to download a map showing key historicLink to further info and links

Special places

Britty Farm

Ted Rooke (former inhabitant of Britty Farm) has provided a fascinating insight into life on a Blackdown Hills smallholding during the 1920s-1930s. For audio files click here.


Deer Parks

A study of all the deer parks (at least seven in number) is currently being undertaken by Ian Clark. Ian and his team will be looking at the survival of these sites in the field as well as undertaking some documentary research.

 For further information about the deer parks please visit the key archaeological and historical sites page.

Field Survey and Excavation at Playstreet, Bickenhall

Between June – November 2008 the Neroche Community History Project undertook a field survey of the site of a deserted medieval settlement known as ‘Playstreet’, near Bickenhall. A geophysical survey, earthwork survey and archaeological investigation have all been undertaken.

For further information, download a copy of the leaflet which was made to accompany the Playstreet Exhibition of findings from the excavation which took place in Neroche Parish Hall in March 2009

Leigh Hill Somersetshire Militia summer encampment site

Tim Staples ireceived funding from the Neroche Scheme to to conserve the brick fireplace, which is all that remains of the Officer's Mess at Leigh Hill. For further information please visit the key archaeological and historical sites page.

Discovering Neroche

An ancient landscape

The Community History Project was about encouraging local people to find out more about the history of the Northern Blackdown escarpment with the aid of financial and technical support provided by the Neroche Scheme. From the origins of the now abandoned farmsteads such as Britty to the excavation at Playstreet, local individuals and groups were able to discover a wealth of new information about the area. These results will be published later this year in our book, Along the Wild Edge - A Journey through the Northern Blackdown Hills.

Fieldwork projects which were supported include:

The Oral History Project in conjunction with the Voices from the Hills Project run by Judy Simmonds. We hope to provide audio clips of this project in due course

Warren Cottage at Hawks Moor - A group of brave souls – Daniel James, Tony Smedley, Jenny Parsons & Pat Bayley recorded ruins in the woods at Hawk’s Moor, and researched archives to find out more about the people who once lived here. Their findings are recorded in the Neroche Book: Along the Wild Edge

Daniel Salter outside his Grandparents home - Warren Cottage


Pictured here is Daniel Salter in the doorway of Warren Cottage. Daniel’s great great grandparents lived here in the 1890’s



Priors’ Park - Fieldwork at Prior’ Park by Hazel Riley (English Heritage) has identified the previously unrecorded remains of pillow mounds which could well be medieval in date, possibly belonging to the Prior at Taunton Priory.

Pillow mounds are stone mounds, which were once covered with earth and used as artificial rabbit warrens.

Further information about the pillow mounds at Priors Park can be found in the Neroche book: Along the Wild Edge

Hemyock Local History Group

Funding is being provided in tandem with the Blackdown Hills Sustainable Development Fund to the Hemyock Local History group to help with purchase of equipment to scan and store copies of their extensive collection of old photographs. This equipment will be available for use by other groups/organisations.

Follow the link to find out about the Neroche History Group

THE BOOK: Along the Wild Edge - A journey through the Northern Blackdown Hills
The Neroche Community History Book is nearing completion and will be available from May 2011. Contributions range from chapters produced by local people who have undertaken research in the area e.g. The Neroche Local History Group’s research at Britty to Tom Mayberry’s discussion about the Portman’s, Orchard Portman and Thurlbear.


Tel: 01823 680846 Email:

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