MMO2146 - (Monument)

Summary

An area of regular post medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs in fields north of Pinkery 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 Pinkery Farm sometime before 1848. According to Orwin, many miles of drainage ditches were cut across parts of Exmoor, particularly in the years after Frederic Winn Knight took over the estate in 1845, but failed to provide adequate drainage for the land to be enclosed. 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.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

An area of regular post medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs in fields to the north east of Pinkery 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 Pinkery Farm around 1845. Centred at approximately SS 7301 4148, the ditches run east-west across a south-west facing slope above Pinkery Canal. It appears that the ditches were designed to channel water into the canal but this it by no means certain. The ditches are all cut in straight parallel lines, and cover an area of approximately 3 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, particularly in the years after 1841, when Frederic Winn Knight took over the estate, but in many 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 (1-3).

Sources/Archives (4)

  • --- Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980 3148-49 11-APR-1947.
  • --- Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. Orwin, C.S 1929 "The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest" Oxford University Press, London page(s) 32-33, 53.
  • --- Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. Riley, H and Wilson-North, R 2004 "The Field Archaeology of Exmoor" English Heritage, Swindon page(s.
  • --- Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7301 4149 (239m by 196m) (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

  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1470377

Record last edited

Mar 21 2018 1:33PM

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