MMO2140 - Post-medieval drainage ditches east and southeast of Pinkworthy (or Pinkery) Pond (Monument)


An area of regular post-medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs, most likely cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at improvement and at the same time as the construction of Pinkery Pond (c. 1830).

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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 on moorland to the east and southeast of Pinkery Pond. 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 Pinkery Pond around 1830. Centred at approximately SS 7251 4209, the ditches run east-west across a southwest facing slope above an unnamed stream and Pinkery Canal. It appears that the ditches were designed to channel water into this stream and possibly the canal. The ditches are all cut in straight parallel lines, and cover an area of approximately 36 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 successfully 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] An area of drainage channels on the east side of Pinkery Pond were visible during a metric survey in 2012, these probably date from the 1830s or 1840s and are part of the Knights improvements on Exmoor. [5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 924-25 (29 April 1973).
  • <2> Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition.
  • <3> Monograph: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 2001. The Field Archaeology of Exmoor. English Heritage.
  • <4> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182.
  • <5> Report: Riley, H.. 2012. Metric survey of Pinkery pond and its environs. 17.



Grid reference Centred SS 7266 4210 (881m by 674m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS74SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Mires Feature Reference (Monument): ECH12(103)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW172
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1470338

Record last edited

Mar 31 2014 4:56PM


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