MSO11799 - 19th Century contour leat west and south of Duredown Farm (Monument)


A contour leat measures around 940 metres in length. It may have served as a water meadow system, or have served a similar purpose as other leats constructed by the Knights in the local area in the 19th Century.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Water system seen on aerial photographs. Very long carriage gutter following 1200 foot contour around the farm. [1,2] Marked on Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division six inch map. [3] A very long contour leat was noted on aerial photographs on moorland surrounding Duredon Farm, Exmoor. Beginning at approximately SS 7526 4013 and following the 390 metre contour line as far as SS 7570 3999, the leat measures approximately 940 metres in length. It is fragmentary in places, but appears particularly well preserved at the northern end, where traces of a surrounding bank can be seen. At SS 7510 4054 a small gutter running downslope connects with the leat, apparently some form of land drain. The leat has previously been identified as a water meadow system, but the presence of the surrounding bank and the absence of parallel gutters accompanying the leat this seems unlikely. It is similar in construction to both Pinkery Canal and the two contour leats visible to the north, and is more likely to be for the same purpose as these features. Both Pinkery Canal and Duredon Farm were constructed in the mid 19th Century by the Knight family as part of their land improvement attempt, and it seems likely that this leat is of a similar date. [4-7] N.B. The original Somerset HER entry mapped the leat continuing directly east from SS 7535 4000, turning northeast at SS 7564 4000 and ending at c. SS 7580 4012. The National Mapping Project data instead continues the leat in a southeasterly direction, passing through SS 7546 3992, SS 7556 3991 and eventually ending at c. SS 7569 3998. Both routes have been incorporated into the current GIS mapping for the record. [8] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [9]

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 4151.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Francis, P.. 1984. A Survey and Description of the Catch Meadow Irrigation Systems. 38.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1962. 6" SS74SE.
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/95026 069-70 (12 March 1995).
  • <5> Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition. 31-33, 57.
  • <6> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <7>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SE. MD002183. [Mapped feature: #46502 ]
  • <8> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 5 February 2020.
  • <9> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1102182, Extant 2 June 2021.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO625
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO6904
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE80
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1102182
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34371



Grid reference Centred SS 7544 4029 (739m by 784m) Incorporates imported data from Somerset HER
Map sheet SS74SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Sep 29 2021 12:55PM


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