MMO2711 - Post-medieval drainage ditches across Great Vintcombe, Little Vintcombe and Black Hill (Monument)

Summary

An area of regular post-medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs and were most likely cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at agricultural improvement in the former Royal Forest of Exmoor, probably around 1845.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

An area of regular post-medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs on moorland around Great Vintcombe, Little Vintcombe and Black Hill, Exmoor The ditches were most likely cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at agricultural improvement in the former Royal Forest of Exmoor, probably around 1845. Centred at approximately SS 7233 3919, most of the ditches run east to west across a north facing slope above an unnamed stream. Several however, run north to south, apparently channelling water from the higher ground in the south to the main body of the drainage system. It appears that the system was designed to channel water into this unnamed stream and into Low Combe. The ditches are all cut in straight parallel lines, and cover an area of approximately 41.5 hectares. According to Orwin, many miles of drainage ditches were cut across parts of Exmoor, but in some areas failed to provide adequate drainage for the land to be enclosed [3]. Large areas of Exmoor were successfully drained however, and were used as grazing land. Other similar ditches are visible in the surrounding areas, some draining into natural streams and water courses; others, particularly in SS 74 SW, appearing to drain into Pinkery Canal. Many of the ditches are associated with areas of peat cutting. [1-4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/96507 25-26 (30 March 1996).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 1039-41 (29 April 1973).
  • <3> Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition. 32-33.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NW. MD002189. [Mapped features: #33194 ; #33195 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7254 3920 (1168m by 892m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS73NW
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NW51
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1483638

Record last edited

Sep 2 2020 4:16PM

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