MMO2731 - Possible post-medieval drainage system northeast of Aclands Farm (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
- None recorded
A small area of regular post-medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs on moorland to the northeast of Aclands Farm, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7322, four parallel ditches running north to south are visible, connected to a pair of ditches running east to west. It seems likely that the four parallel ditches were designed to channel water across the east facing slope to the pair of ditches, which then directed the water down slope to the River Barle. The system is small, covering an area of only 0.8 hectares. The ditches were most likely cut in an attempt to drain the land some time after 1841. Aclands was built after this date according to Burton . According to Orwin, many miles of drainage ditches were cut across parts of Exmoor, but failed to provide adequate drainage for much of the land to be enclosed. 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. These ditches are believed to have been constructed as part of the Knight family's attempt at land improvement, and it is possible that this small system at Aclands was an attempt to copy their methods. [1-4] The full description from Burton states that most of the farmsteads on Exmoor had been constructed by c. 1850, with only three farms being constructed since. This includes Aclands Farm.  Aclands Farm does not appear on the 1st or 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey maps but is shown on the 1946-8 Royal Air Force aerial photographs. It is not clear whether the drainage system predates the farmstead, or if it is contemporary with it. The GIS mapping has been extended to reflect the evidence shown in the 1946-8 photographs. [5-7] 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> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 1041-42 (29 April 1973).
- <2> SEM7230 Monograph: Burton, R.A.. 1989. The Heritage of Exmoor. Roger A. Burton. 87.
- <3> SEM7231 Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition. 33.
- <4>XY SMO7572 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NW. MD002189. [Mapped features: #42123 ; #47729 ]
- <5> SEM6703 Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
- <6> SEM7190 Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
- <7> SEM6707 Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography.
- <8> SEM7987 Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1484189, Extant 30 November 2021.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 7318 3977 (187m by 354m) (2 map features)|
|Civil Parish||EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (1)
Related Events/Activities (1)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1484189 (Pastscape entry: 1484189)
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NW71
- NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1484189
Record last edited
Nov 30 2021 2:45PM
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