MMO2341 - 19th Century drainage system at Great Buscombe and Trout Hill (Monument)

Summary

A very large area of post-medieval, probably 19th Century parallel drainage ditches is visible as earthworks.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

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 [4]. 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 ([5], 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 [6], 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. [8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 966-67 (29 April 1973).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 934-36 (29 April 1973).
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/95026 107-09 (12 March 1995).
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records. 18810.
  • <6> Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition. P. 32-33.
  • <7>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SE. MD002183. [Mapped feature: #32982 ]
  • <8> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1475743, Extant 14 June 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7801 4237 (2897m by 2146m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS74SE
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (11)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Related Articles (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE190
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1475743
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 18810

Record last edited

Jun 14 2021 11:08PM

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