MMO2143 - Post-medieval drainage ditches southeast of Driver Farm (Monument)

Summary

An area of regular post medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs 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.

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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 southeast 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 7416 4032, the ditches run northwest to southeast across a south facing slope above an unnamed stream. It appears that the ditches were designed to channel water into this stream. The ditches are all cut in straight parallel lines, covering an area of approximately 4 hectares. Two larger ditches surrounding the parallel ditches, one running north to south and the other running east to west; these larger ditches were presumably constructed to prevent water running into the field. 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]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1501 4182-83 (13 May 1946).
  • <2> Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition. pp 32-33.
  • <3> Monograph: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 2001. The Field Archaeology of Exmoor. English Heritage. pp 138-39.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182. [Mapped feature: #32918 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7417 4028 (191m by 250m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS74SW
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SW175
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1470352

Record last edited

Mar 17 2021 2:01PM

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