MMO2341 - 19th Century drainage system at Great Buscombe and Trout Hill (Monument)
Please read the caveat document.
Type and Period (1)
A very large area of post-medieval, probably 19th Century parallel drainage ditches is visible as earthworks across Great Buscombe and Trout Hill, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7772 4184, the ditches run in avariety of directions, mostly following the contours of Great Buscombe and Trout Hill, with the total drainage system covering an area of approximately 162 hectares. At the southern edge of Great Buscombe, the ditches appear to have been recut, and form a criss cross pattern. In several areas, the ditches are cut by 19th Century field boundaries, some of which appear on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1889 . This would indicate that the drainage system had been abandoned some time prior to publication, and the field boundaries constructed over it. According to the Somerset HER (, MSO10399), the size of the channels is variable; however some measure up to 1.5 metres wide and 0.8 metres deep. The ditches were most likely cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at improvement. 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 contour leats. Many of the ditches are associated with areas of peat cutting. [1-7] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. 
- <1> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 966-67 (29 April 1973).
- <2> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 934-36 (29 April 1973).
- <3> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/95026 107-09 (12 March 1995).
- <4> SEM6703 Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.
- <5> SSO1 Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records. 18810.
- <6> SEM7231 Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition. P. 32-33.
- <7>XY SMO7566 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SE. MD002183. [Mapped feature: #32982 ]
- <8> SEM7987 Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1475743, Extant 14 June 2021.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 7801 4237 (2897m by 2146m) Aerial Survey|
|Civil Parish||EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (11)
- Parent of: Late prehistoric funerary mound or 19th Century clearance cairn on Little Buscombe (Monument) (MMO2391)
- Related to: 19th Century contour leats on Trout Hill (Monument) (MMO2360)
- Related to: 19th Century drainage ditches on East Pinford (Monument) (MMO2338)
- Related to: 19th Century drainage ditches on Swap Hill (Monument) (MMO2459)
- Related to: 19th Century drainage ditches on West Pinford (Monument) (MMO2340)
- Related to: 19th Century drainage system on Lanacombe (Monument) (MSO7104)
- Related to: Drainage System, Sparcombe Water Head (Monument) (MMO2467)
- Related to: Post-medieval drainage ditches northeast of The Warren (Monument) (MMO2357)
- Related to: Post-medieval field boundary on Trout Hill (Monument) (MMO2406)
- Related to: Post-medieval land drainage system at Elsworthy (Monument) (MSO10400)
- Related to: Post-medieval land drainage system on Trout Hill, East and West Pinford and Beckham (Monument) (MSO10399)
Related Events/Activities (1)
Related Articles (1)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1475743 (Pastscape entry: 1475743)
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE190
- NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1475743
- Somerset SMR PRN: 18810
Record last edited
Jun 14 2021 11:08PM
Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.