'Gutterslide' place-name between The Beacon and Freshwater, Ringmore

Record ID:  104108 / MNA105213
Record type:  Monument
Protected Status: None Recorded
NT Property:  Ringmore; South West
Civil Parish:  Kingston; South Hams; Devon
Grid Reference:  SX 6219 4625
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'Gutterslide' place-name which may relate to early medieval land drainage.

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Monument Types

  • FIELD (Saxon - 410 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FIELD DRAIN (Medieval to Mid 19th C - 1066 AD to 1839 AD)


An area of unimproved land at edge of cliff which is called 'Gutterslide' on maps from at least 1885 survey of 1st edition 25" Map (Ordnance Survey, 1887, no 479). However, Tithe Map and Apportionment (1839-1841, no 13) describe an arable field to north-west (Ordnance Survey, 1887, no 486) as 'Gutter Slade', whereas aforementioned unimproved field is called 'Brake in Broady Cliff' (Tithe, 1839-1841, no 14). Larger, cultivated field would seem to fit place-name better than smaller 'brake' because former incorporates a shallow coombe where marshy conditions could have prevailed prior to land improvement. Suffix element of this place-name appear to derive from Old English root word "slaed" - meaning land in a (marshy) valley (Field, 1972, 206) - which would suggest an Anglo-Saxon origin of utilization. Prefix refers to land adjoining a drainage channel (ibid., 94), although this may be a later (medieval/post-medieval) development imposed on a pre-existing field. Currently, both 'fields' are under improved pasture (Blaylock: 02-10-1997) and field boundaries have changed: Coastal strip of large field has been partioned with a stock fence; small field (old brake) is indistinguishable from field to north-east apart from boundary between them appears to have been preserved by means of a modern stock fence. Archaeological Comments - Site:104108*0 Remains of a drainage ditch may survive as a sub-surface feature somewhere within confines of these two fields, but there is no physical evidence to support this hypothesis.

At NGR SX623459 (approx.) a lump of concrete was identified protruding from ground (Blaylock: 02-10-1997). This is within area that was defined as 'brake' on Tithe Map and, on more recent maps, as 'Gutterslide' (Ordnance Survey, 1886; 1967). Although this concrete may be a result of modern activity, it has been recorded here because of numerous World War II coastal defences that are already known to have existed or still survive along this stretch of coastline. It is probable that many pillboxes and associated structures have been destroyed or remain to be recorded. As this concrete is located on a stretch of cliff overlooking Gutterslide Beach, there is a possiblity that it too is remains of a pillbox; although beach is inaccessible via cliffs according to current (peace-time) attitudes.


  • SZB10779 - Map: Ordnance Survey. 1967. 6" Map. 10560.

  • SZB2876 - Unpublished document: National Trust. 1997. Scobbiscombe Farm Management Plan.

  • SZB3337 - Map: Ordnance Survey, West Country Studies Libary Exeter. 1906. Second Edition 25" Map. 2500.

  • SZB6601 - Map: Ordnance Survey, West Country Studies Libary Exeter. 1886-1887. First Edition 25" Map. 2500~.

  • SZB6756 - Monograph: John Field. 1972. English Field Names: A Dictionary.

  • SZB922 - Document: Tithe Commissioners, Devon Record Office. 1839-1841. Tithe Map and Apportionment Book for the parish of Kingston, South Devon.


None Recorded

Other Statuses and References

  • Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Heritage Coast

Associated Events

None Recorded

Associated Finds

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Related Records

None Recorded