MMO2881 - Post-medieval drainage ditches on Burcombe (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
An area of interconnecting post-medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs on Burcombe, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7544 3834, the ditches extend across an area of approximately 65 hectares, cutting across the contours of the slope and directing water from the higher ground into the River Barle. 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. The ditches were most likely cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at improvement, probably during the mid 19th Century. According to Orwin, many miles of drainage ditches were cut across parts of Exmoor, but failed to provide adequate drainage for the land to be enclosed. Orwin also refers to Robert Smith, the land agent for the Knight's recommendation that "sheep drains" be constructed across the boggy parts of the moors to allow cattle to graze there. [1-3] An archaeological watching brief undertaken in March 2013 as part of the MIRES project noted a silted uo ditch that was observed to have been dug through an earlier openwork (MMO2949) and may have formed part of the 19th Century drainage ditches of the area. 
- <1> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73087 618-19 (17 April 1973).
- <2> SEM7231 Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition. 33, 57.
- <3> SMO7573 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NE. MD002190.
- <4> SEM8122 Report: Passmore, A.. 2013. Exmoor Mires project, Burcombe, Somerset: Results of an archaeological watching brief. 2.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 7547 3832 (929m by 1039m) (Aerial Survey)|
|Civil Parish||EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (0)
Related Events/Activities (1)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1486553 (Original Monarch entry: 1486553)
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NE84
- Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1486553
Record last edited
Mar 13 2017 3:34PM
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