MMO2139 - Drainage Ditches, North of Driver Farm (Monument)

Summary

An area of regular post medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs in fields north of Driver Farm, Exmoor.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

An area of regular post medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs in fields north of Driver Farm, Exmoor. The ditches were most likely cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at improvement, probably at the same time as the construction of Driver Farm around 1845. Centred at approximately SS 7356 4140, the ditches run east-west across a north-west facing slope above an un-named stream. It appears that the ditches were designed to channel water into this stream. The ditches are all cut in straight parallel lines, and cover an area of approximately 32 hectares. The whole area around The Chains is particularly boggy and peat covered, and it seems likely that the ditches were cut to drain the area prior to it being enclosed. According to Orwin, many miles of drainage ditches were cut across parts of Exmoor, but in some areas failed to provide adequate drainage for the land to be enclosed. (2) Large areas of Exmoor were succesfully drained, although it appears that this area, which is still open and boggy moorland was not one of them. Other similar ditches are visible in the surrounding areas, some draining into natural streams and water courses, others appearing to drain into Pinkery Canal. Many of the ditches are associated with areas of peat cutting. (1-4)

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182.
  • <2> Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 926-27. 29/04/1973.
  • <4> Monograph: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 2001. The Field Archaeology of Exmoor. English Heritage.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7373 4143 (810m by 562m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS74SW
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Related Articles (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1470332

Record last edited

Oct 3 2011 9:05AM

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