1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Exmoor Forest

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28153861911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 10 — Exmoor Forest

EXMOOR FOREST, a high moorland in Somersetshire and Devonshire, England. The uplands of this district are bounded by the low alluvial plain of Sedgemoor on the east, by the lower basin of the Exe on the south, by the basin of the Taw (in part) on the west, and by the Bristol Channel on the north. The area thus defined, however, includes not only Exmoor but the Brendon and Quantock Hills east of it. Excluding these, the total area in the district lying at an elevation exceeding 1000 ft. is about 120 sq. m. The geological formation is Devonian. The ancient forest had an area of about 20,000 acres, and was enclosed in 1815. Large tracts are still uncultivated; and the wild red deer and native Exmoor pony are characteristic of the district. The highest point is Dunkery Beacon in the east (1707 ft.), but Span Head in the south-west is 1618 ft., and a height of 1500 ft. is exceeded at several points. The Exe, Barle, Lyn and other streams, traversing deep picturesque valleys except in their uppermost courses, are in favour with trout fishermen. The few villages, such as Exford, Withypool and Simonsbath, with Lynton and Lynmouth on the coast, afford centres for tourists and sportsmen. Exmoor is noted for its stag hunting. The district has a further fame through Richard Blackmore’s novel, Lorna Doone.