MMO2347 - Post-medieval contour leats on Dure Down (Monument)


A pair of post-medieval contour leats or drainage ditches and associated gutters are visible as earthworks running parallel to the Pinkery Canal, and may have a similar date and function.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A pair of post-medieval contour leats or drainage ditches and associated gutters are visible on Dure Down, Exmoor. The leats run parallel to the Pinkery Canal, and may have performed a similar function. Centred at approximately SS 7525 4124, the northernmost leat follows the course of the 460 metre contour line, while the southernmost follows the course of the 450 metre line. At the northwestern edge of Dure Down, two ditches apparently connecting the leats are visible, and a third ditch running east to west from the summit of Dure Down connects with the northernmost leat. The leats most likely date to the mid 19th Century and the land improvement activities conducted by the Knight family in this area. Pinkery Canal is believed to have been constructed in 1833, and it is likely that these two leats date to the same period. The gutters at the northwesten edge are more confused, having been cut by paths, but appear to have been designed to channel water into a nearby stream. [1-3] The stream mentioned by [3] appears to be the head of the River Exe. [4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/95026 071-72 (12 March 1995).
  • <2> Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition. PP 32-33.
  • <3>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SE. MD002183. [Mapped feature: #32975 ]
  • <4> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 6 October 2020.



Grid reference Centred SS 7542 4122 (649m by 586m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS74SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE196
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1475775

Record last edited

Oct 6 2020 4:34PM


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