MMO1237 - 19th Century leat northeast of Larkbarrow Farmhouse (Monument)


A linear earthwork feature consisting of a ditch and bank is most probably a water management feature dating from the 19th Century known as a contour leat or head main.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A grass covered linear earthwork, centred SS 8241 4341, lies 600 metres northeast of Larkbarrow Farmhouse on rough grassland above Madacombe. The feature is situated at about 400 metres above Ordnance Datum and comprises a ditch and bank running to over 400 metres in length. The feature is most probably a contour leat dating from the 19th Century, intended to carry water round to Larkbarrow farm from Madacombe, possibly abandoned during construction. [1] The leat was recorded at 1:2500 scale using differential GPS as part of an archaeological survey of the Larkbarrow area. The survey was carried out by the Exeter office of English Heritage at the request of Exmoor National Park Authority. A client report was produced as part of the survey work and is available from the NMRC, Swindon. [2,3] The contour leat or gutter, possibly of a type also known as a head main, was transcribed as part of the Exmoor National Mapping Programme survey. From this survey the known length of this earthwork has been extended significantly, intermittently visible crossing Madacombe for over 680 metres from circa SS 8212 4302 to SS 8258 4340. In addition a possible extension of circa 70 metres can be seen to the southwest of an area of probably later peat cutting, centred on SS 8207 4299 at the northeast corner of Larkbarrow Farm. It is possible, however, that the construction of this leat was abandoned due to the density of peat cuttings in this area. The leat can also be seen to cross the course of at least two further drainage ditches, associated with a complex of drains to the north. The flanking earthwork bank, presumably formed from spoil, is only partially visible on the northwest side of the ditch and has been schematically indicated. [4,5] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [6]

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Unpublished document: JAMIESON, EJ. Field Investigators Comments. 2001, English Heritage Field Investigation..
  • <2> Archive: Jamieson, E. and Riley, H.. 2000-2001. Larkbarrow Farm, Somerset. AF1350534.
  • <3> Report: Jamieson, E.. 2001. Larkbarrow Farm, Exmoor, Somerset.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 540/931 (F20) 4103-5 (8 November 1952).
  • <5>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SW. MD002184. [Mapped feature: #43437 ]
  • <6> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1343899, Extant 21 July 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 8233 4320 (627m by 480m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS84SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10170
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SW176
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1343899
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 15236

Record last edited

Jul 21 2021 9:08AM


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