MMO2473 - Post-medieval drainage ditches at Beckham and East Pinford Hill (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
A system of post-medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs, across the slopes of Beckham and East Pinford Hill, Exmoor parish. The ditches were most likely cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at agricultural improvement of the former royal forest, possibly associated with the construction of Tom's Hill model Farm around 1850. Centred on approximately SS 80474161, these earthworks cover an area of approximately 19 hectares and form one of three relatively small and discrete drainage systems that feed into tributaries to the south of Long Combe. Two more can be seen immediately to the east. The drains are arranged almost in a classic herringbone pattern and are centrally aligned upon a field boundary which forms part of the boundary to the Tom's Hill Farm estate to the north. Similar but even more extensive drainage systems are visible to the west towards Warren Farm, some draining into natural streams and water courses, others appearing to drain into the various contour leats. According to Orwin, many miles of drainage ditches were cut across parts of Exmoor, but this technique did not address the underlying issue of compacted ironpan soils and failed to provide adequate drainage for improvement. [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. 
- <1> SEM6707 Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. 106G/UK/1501 (F20) 4192-3. 13/05/1946.
- <2> SEM7231 Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition.
- <3>XY SMO7567 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SW. MD002184. [Mapped feature: #32579 ]
- <4> SEM7987 Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1477882, Extant 20 July 2021.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 8040 4162 (708m by 384m) Aerial Survey|
|Civil Parish||EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (7)
- Part of: Post-medieval land drainage system on Trout Hill, East and West Pinford and Beckham (Monument) (MSO10399)
- Related to: 19th Century drainage ditches at Beckham (Monument) (MSO10379)
- Related to: 19th Century drainage ditches on Swap Hill (Monument) (MMO2459)
- Related to: 19th Century drainage system at Beckham (Monument) (MMO2476)
- Related to: 19th Century drainage system on Lanacombe (Monument) (MSO7104)
- Related to: Post-medieval land drainage system at Elsworthy (Monument) (MSO10400)
- Related to: Tom's Hill Farm, Great Tom's Hill (Monument) (MSO7042)
Related Events/Activities (1)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1477882 (Pastscape entry: 1477882)
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SW233
- NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1477882
Record last edited
Jul 20 2021 1:05PM
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