MMO3216 - Post Medieval Drainage Ditches on Verney's Allotment. (Monument)

Summary

An area of regular post medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs on moorland south of Long Holcombe, Exmoor, confirmed by survey.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

An area of regular post medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs on moorland south of Long Holcombe, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7790 3461, and covering an area of approximately 45 hectares, the ditches were most likely cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at improvement in the mid 19th century. The majority of the ditches run north-south, across the contours of the slope, and apparently were designed to drain into Sherdon Water and its various tributaries. According to Orwin, many miles of drainage ditches were cut across parts of Exmoor, but most failed to provide adequate drainage for the land to be enclosed. Similar ditches are visible to the north on Long Holcombe, Great Woolcombe and Hangley Cleave, some appearing to drain into natural streams and watercourses, others into specially constructed leats and canals. Many of the ditches are associated with areas of peat cutting [1-3]. A walkover survey of Verney's Allotment by Cornwall Council Archaeology revealed that this drainage system was more extensive and continues towards the west. They identfied the following specific features: - SS 77732 34503: A shallow ditch / gully 0.7m wide and 0.1m deep is probably the upper portion of one of the historic drainage ditches in this area. There is no clear indication of accompanying spoil. - SS 77653 34521: A shallow ditch / gully up to 0.8m wide and 0.2m deep is probably the upper part of one of the historic drainage ditches in this area. There is no accompanying spoil visible. - SS 77566 34542: A ditch / gully 0.7m wide and 0.1m deep with no indication of accompanying spoil. It is cut by a peat cutting. - SS 77395 34735: A ditch / gully, up to 1m wide and 0.1m deep. - SS 77401 34742 A ditch / gully up to 0.5m wide. - SS 77502 34521: A ditch / gully 0.7m wide and 0.1m deep with no indication of accompanying spoil. It is near straight over much of its length, becoming more sinuous to the east. At its western end it turns south before running to the boundary. - SS 77503 34470: A ditch / gully 0.7m wide and 0.1m deep with no indication of accompanying spoil. - SS 77493 34443: A ditch / gully 0.7m wide and 0.1m deep with no indication of accompanying spoil. - SS 77556 34376: A ditch / gully 0.7m wide and 0.1m deep with no indication of accompanying spoil. [4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 SE. MD002195.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/96559 125-26 07-MAY-1996.
  • <3> Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. Orwin, C.S. 1929 "The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest" Oxford University Press, London page(s) 33,.
  • <4> Report: Kirkham, G. and Taylor, S.. 2008. Exmoor Mire Restoration Project: Archaeological Survey on Moorland Areas at Alderman's Barrow Allotment, Blackpitts-Exe Head, North Twitchen, Roosthitchen and Verney's Allotment. p. 17-18; no. 15, 16, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 30.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7784 3462 (1123m by 684m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS73SE
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1492767

Record last edited

Aug 15 2018 2:59PM

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