MMO2152 - 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 on moorland 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 7268 4124 on a southwest facing slope above Pinkery Canal and an unnamed tributary of the River Barle, the ditches run both east to west and north to south, cutting across each other in several places. The different alignments of the ditches would seem to indicate several phases of cutting and recutting. The ditches are also closely associated with an area of post-medieval peat cutting, and in several places the cuts follow the alignment of the ditches. 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. When it became apparent that draining the area was impossible, it was instead used for peat cutting. 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 also 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. pp 32-33.
  • <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: #32910 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7273 4128 (232m by 212m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS74SW
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1470522

Record last edited

Jun 1 2021 2:06PM

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