MMO2473 - Drainage Ditches, Beckham and East Pinford Hill (Monument)

Summary

Post-medieval ditches are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs forming an extensive drainage system of across the slopes of Beckham and East Pinford Hill.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

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. (1) 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. (2)

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. 106G/UK/1501 (F20) 4192-3. 13/05/1946.
  • <2> Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition.
  • <3> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SW. MD002184.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8040 4162 (708m by 384m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS84SW
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1477882

Record last edited

Oct 23 2013 2:25PM

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