MMO522 - 19th Century leat or field gutter north of Penn Allotment (Monument)


A 19th Century leat or field gutter has been surveyed from aerial photographs as an earthwork in excess of 1.2 kilometres length. It probably carried water from Sparcombe Water to Westermill Farm and may have been part of a water meadow.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A leat runs from Sparcombe Water to Westermill Farm (SS 8186 4089 to SS 8244 3991). It is generally well preserved, although it no longer carries water, but in places near the farm it has been obliterated, particularly where it runs alongside existing field boundaries. Observed during field reconnaissance. [1] The course of this leat has been transcribed from aerial photographs of the 1940s as part of the Exmoor National Mapping Programme. Visible as an earthwork the leat, gutter or headmain, as such water channels are also known can be seen to run for 1.2 kilometres from Sparcombe Water at circa SS 8180 4077, to SS 8213 4001. It can be seen to cut across relict field boundaries potentially of medieval date and is marked on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1889, and is therefore probably of 19th Century date. It is not marked on the 2nd Edition map of 1903 and may have passed out of use by this time, although catchwater water meadow systems, of which such gutters are often a part, frequently continued in use well into the 20th Century. A further gutter, immediately to the southeast of Westermill Linhay may indicate the this more extensive gutter did indeed operate as part of such a system. On the available aerial photographs the gutter is not clearly visible to the southeast of SS 8213 4001, but the 1883 map indicates that it continued to Westermill Farm as indicated by [1]. [2-5] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [6]

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 14 December 1995.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 4160-1 (11 April 1947).
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1903.
  • <5>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SW. MD002184. [Mapped feature: #32615 ]
  • <6> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1072321, Extant 14 July 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 8195 4034 (847m by 1029m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS84SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10196
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO6793
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SW139
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1072321
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 15644

Record last edited

Jul 14 2021 3:49PM


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