MMO2885 - Post-medieval drainage system on Long Holcombe (Monument)

Summary

Post-medieval drainage channels are visible on aerial photographs as earthworks. The ditches most likely date to the mid 19th Century and were probably part of the Knight family's attempt at agricultural improvement.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A complex series of interconnecting drainage channels is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks covering Long Holcombe, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7726 3569, the ditches extend across most of Long Holcombe, covering an area of some 115 hectares. The ditches cut across the contours of the slope, channelling water from the summit of Long Holcombe into the various streams and other watercourses in the area, including Kinsford water. The ditches most likely date to the mid 19th Century and were probably part of the Knight family's attempt at agricultural improvement in the former Royal Forest. According to Orwin, many miles of drainage ditches were cut across different parts of Exmoor, but in most cases failed to provide adequate drainage. Orwin also describes the Knight family's land agent, Robert Smith, and his proposal to construct so-called "sheep drains" across the more boggy areas in an attempt to provide grazing land for stock. [1-3] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. Exmoor National Park Authority Infra Red False Colour 2325-27 (1983).
  • <2> Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition. 33, 57.
  • <3>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NW. MD002189. [Mapped feature: #43383 ]
  • <4> Report: Riley, H.. 2017. Archaeological Walkover Survey: Long Holcombe, Exmoor, Exmoor Mires Partnership ELH17, Project Report.
  • <5> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1486571, Extant 22 November 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7724 3565 (1158m by 1377m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS73NE
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Related Articles (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NE88
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1486571

Record last edited

Nov 22 2021 8:29PM

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