MMO2738 - 19th Century contour leat southeast of Kinsford Farm (Monument)


A substantial leat is visible as an earthwork and carried water from Kinsford Water to a plantation west of Emmett's Grange. Part of the leat is still in use as a drainage ditch.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A substantial contour leat, probably of post-medieval date, is visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork southeast of Kinsford Farm, Exmoor. Beginning at approximately SS 7499 3686, the leat runs east to west and follows the contour of the slope at approximately 420 metres above sea level for over 700 metres. It is best preserved at the western end, where it is still in use as a drainage ditch, and both the ditch and parts of the bank survive. The part of the leat which is still in use is marked on modern mapping. It is also depicted, although as a much longer structure, on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map, indicating it was constructed prior to publication in 1890. The precise function of the leat is uncertain, but it may have been intended to channel water from higher ground to the east to Kinsford Water. On the 1st Edition map the leat appears to start at Emmetts Grange to the east. [1-3] The water flow may actually run west to east along the leat. The 2020 MasterMap data shows the feature running between SS 7438 3709 (near Kinsford Water) and SS 7478 3690, where it is labelled "Sinks". [4] The feature is recorded as a "water carrier or gutter" on a plan of Emmett's Grange published in 1856 by Robert Smith. It linked the "Head of the Brook" to a plantation to the west of the farmstead (MEM24080), via a smaller plantation marked at c.SS 7479 3690 (not shown on 1st Edition map). Water flow is marked west to east on this map. Two further gutters are shown downslope of this feature. The gutters are likely to have been constructed as part of the landscaping scheme developed by Smith at the site, or by his predecessor. It is possible that the ditch recorded as MMO2734 was partially created to increase water flow into this and other water carriages in the farm scheme. [2,5,6]

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF CPE/UK/1980 4446-47 (11 April 1947).
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2004. 1:10000, 2004. 1:10,000.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap data. 1:2,500.
  • <5> Article in serial: Smith, R.. 1856. Bringing Moorland into Cultivation: Emmett's Grange, Exmoor. Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England. 17. 349-394. p357.
  • <6> Verbal communication: Various. 1999-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 2 September 2020.



Grid reference Centred SS 7473 3698 (794m by 253m) (Estimated from sources)
Map sheet SS73NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NW78
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1484231

Record last edited

Sep 2 2020 2:01PM


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