MMO2150 - (Monument)

Summary

An area of regular post medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs on moorland south west of The Chains Barrow, Exmoor. The ditches were most likely cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at improvement, probably sometime after Frederic Winn Knight took possession of the estate in 1841. According to Orwin, many miles of drainage ditches were cut across parts of Exmoor, 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 on moorland to the south-west of The Chains Barrow,Exmoor. The ditches were most likely cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at improvement, probably around the time Frederic Winn Knight took over the running of the estate in 1841. Centred at approximately SS 7313 4173, the ditches run north-west to south-east across a south-west facing slope above an un-named tributary of the River Barle. It appears that the ditches were designed to channel water into this tributary. The ditches are all cut in straight parallel lines, and cover an area of approximately 5 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 (1-3).

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.
  • --- Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. Riley, H and Wilson-North, R "The Field Archaeology of Exmoor" English Heritage, Swindon page(s) 138.
  • --- Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SW. MD002182.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7317 4173 (357m by 203m) (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): 1470502

Record last edited

Mar 21 2018 1:33PM

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