MMO2152 - (Monument)

Summary

An area of regular post medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs on moorland 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. 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, like these, appearing to drain into Pinkery Canal.The ditches are associated with a large and complex area of post medieval peat cutting activity.

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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 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 7268 4124 on a south-west facing slope above Pinkery Canal and an un-named tributary of the River Barle, the ditches run both east-west and north south, cutting across each other in several places. The different alignments of the ditches would seem to indicate several phases of cutting and re-cutting. 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 (1-3).

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 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 7273 4128 (232m by 212m) (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): 1470522

Record last edited

Mar 21 2018 1:33PM

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