MMO2340 - 19th Century drainage ditches on West Pinford (Monument)


A large area of probably 19th Century parallel drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A large area of post-medieval, probably 19th Century parallel drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks on West Pinford, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7899 4191, the ditches mostly run east to west, following the contours of the slope, and cover an area of approximately 66 hectares. The ditches were most likely cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at improvement following their acquisition of the former Royal Forest in 1820. According to Orwin [2], 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 to the east and west, some draining into natural streams and water courses, others appearing to drain into contour leats. In places these other areas are cut by later 19th Century enclosure walls. [1-3] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. CPE/UK/1980 3158-60 (11 April 1947).
  • <2> Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition. P. 32-33.
  • <3>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SE. MD002183. [Mapped feature: #32981 ]
  • <4> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1475739, Extant 15 June 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 7893 4190 (1188m by 954m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS74SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (8)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE189
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1475739
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 18810

Record last edited

Jun 15 2021 12:37PM


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