MDE20817 - Disputed post-medieval fishpond on Ilkerton Ridge (Monument)


Low banks forming three sides of a regular enclosure were noted on aerial photographs. These were thought to represent an unfinished fishpond but it has been recently suggested these may be formed from peat cuttings.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Low banks forming three sides of a regular enclosure are shown on aerial photographs on Ilkerton Ridge. [1-3] SS 7213 4458. This rectangular embanked enclosure is the remains of a fishpond measuring 56.7 metres northeast to southwest by 26.2 metres between the centres of a turf bank 2.5 metres wide and 0.7 metres high. It is situated about 325 metres above Ordnance Datum on the top of a flat heather covered ridge at the southern end of Ilkerton Ridge. There is no bank at the southeast corner and although the area is very wet the pond is dry. This fishpond is shown on the 1840 Tithe map annotated 'water'. There is a note beside it to the effect that it was 'intended for a Fishpond but not finished, commenced about 20 years ago'.'now 1840'. So it must have been constructed about 1820. No further information was found regarding its builders. [4,5] The rectangular cut feature described above is clearly visible on aerial photographs. It lies in an area of heavy 19th and 20th Century peat cutting, and the surrounding bank described above may be an illusion created by the cutting. Its regular form and shape indicate that it was constructed prior to the beginnings of the peat cutting activity, and it is clearly separate; however, it seems likely that the peat cutting will have disturbed the feature somewhat. [6,7] The feature described above is almost certainly the result of peat cutting. The site was visited in 2016 and the 'sides' of the enclosure appear to be an arrangement of cuts. Although it is marked on the Tithe Map, it is not marked on the 1889 Ordnance Survey 1st edition map [8] or subseqent maps. The position of a fish pond on high moorland, in peat, seems unlikely even though the map evidence cited above suggests otherwise. [9]

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF/CPE/UK/1980 4081 (April 1947).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. MAM/13/070 (May 1977).
  • <3> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS7244B.
  • <4> Map: 1840. Lynton and Lynmouth Parish Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 8 September 1994.
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/72314 283-84 (16 August 1972).
  • <7>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182. [Mapped feature: #46996 ]
  • <8> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.
  • <9> Unpublished document: Winton, H.. 1999. RCHME/EH Aerial Photographers Comment. Mark Bowden, Helen Winton, 20 September 2016.



Grid reference Centred SS 7212 4458 (47m by 61m)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 18177
  • Devon SMR: SS74SW/93
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MDE12853
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO492
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW125
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1044087

Record last edited

Feb 3 2021 2:00PM


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