MMO2147 - Post-medieval drainage ditches northeast of Pinkery 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 Pinkery 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 to the northeast 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 7289 4131, the ditches run north to south across a southwest 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, crossing each other in places which suggests that they have been recut at least once. 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. [1-4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980 3148-49 (11 April 1947).
  • <2> Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition. Orwin, C.S. 1929 "The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest" Oxford University Press, London page(s) 32-33, 5.
  • <3> Monograph: Riley, H. and Wilson-North, R.. 2001. The Field Archaeology of Exmoor. English Heritage. pp 138-9.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182. [Mapped feature: #32914 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7289 4130 (75m by 132m) (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 SW179
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1470387

Record last edited

Feb 10 2021 6:33PM

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