MMO2713 - 19th Century drainage system south of Squallacombe (Monument)

Summary

An area of regular post-medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs within an enclosure. The ditches were most likely cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at agricultural improvement, probably around 1845. Many of the ditches are associated with areas of peat cutting.

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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 within an enclosure on the southern edge of Squallacombe, Exmoor. The ditches were most likely cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at agricultural improvement, probably around 1845. Centred at approximately SS 7319 3818, the ditches run north west to south-east across a east facing slope above an unnamed stream. It appears that the ditches were designed to channel water into this stream. The ditches are all cut in straight parallel lines, and cover an area of approximately 12 hectares. In places the ditches are cut by the boundaries of the rectangular enclosure, indicating that they predate the enclosure. 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 [2]. However, large areas of Exmoor were successfully drained, including this rectangular enclosure. Other similar ditches are visible in the surrounding areas, some draining into natural streams and water courses, others appearing to drain into specially constructed leats. Many of the ditches are associated with areas of peat cutting. [1-3]

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73087 622-23 (17 April 1973).
  • <2> Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition. 32-33.
  • <3> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NW. MD002189.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7322 3814 (509m by 400m) (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 NW53
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1483654

Record last edited

Sep 2 2020 4:12PM

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