MMO2888 - Post-medieval drainage ditches north of Winstitchen Cross (Monument)


Post-medieval drainage ditches are visible on aerial photographs taken in 1947 as earthworks. They are most likely associated with the Knight family's attempt at agricultural improvement in the area.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

An area of complex, interconnecting drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks north of Winstitchen Cross, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7820 3977 and covering an area of some 6 hectares, the system consists of a central, banked channel running north to south into a nearby stream. Several smaller ditches, some of which also have surrounding banks, connect with this channel at approximately 45 degree angles along its length. At the northern end of the system, a curvilinear ditch is visible extending westwards towards Ashcombe Bottom, where a similar system can be seen (MMO2339) but appears to end at the nearby hedgeline. The drainage system is cut in several places by post-medieval field boundaries, suggesting it predates the construction of these. As mentioned above, similar ditches can be seen to the northwest around Ashcombe Bottom, and it is possible that these ditches were part of the same system. However, the ditches do not seem to be connected in any way and this section has been recorded separately. The function of the ditches is not apparent, but they most likely date to the post-medieval period, and are probably associated with the Knight family's attempt at agricultural improvement in the area. [1-2]

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980 4154-56 (11 April 1947).
  • <2> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NE. MD002190.
  • <3> Report: Riley, H.. 2015. Metric Survey of Little Ashcombe, Simonsbath, Exmoor Mires Project EAC15.



Grid reference Centred SS 7814 3979 (342m by 369m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS73NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NE91
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1486600

Record last edited

Jun 14 2021 11:13PM


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