MSO7104 - Drainage Ditches, Lanacombe (Monument)


An extensive system of 19th century drainage ditches on Lanacombe, presumably associated with John Knight's improvements.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

Centred at SS 7780 4290 is an extensive system of 19th century drainage ditches, covering most of Lanacombe, and presumably associated with the Knight's improvements on Exmoor. (1) An extensive system of post medieval, probably 19th century drainage ditches are visible as earthworks on Lanacombe, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7780 4290, the drainage system extends across an total area of approximately 79 hectares. In the southern half of the system, the drains mostly run from south to north, presumably draining into Hoccombe Water. The remainder of the ditches run approximately East-West, and appear to drain into a large leat west of the enclosure at Lanacombe, which in turn runs into Hoccombe Water. The ditches were most likely cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at improvement. According to Orwin, many miles of drainage ditches were cut across parts of Exmoor, but failed to provide adequate drainage for the land to be enclosed. Other similar ditches are visible in the surrounding areas, some draining into natural streams and water courses, others appearing to drain into contour leats. Many of the ditches are associated with areas of peat cutting (2-4).

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. Wilson-North, R. 09/08/1994.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 870-72. 29/04/1973.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/95026 099-100. 12/03/1995.
  • <4> Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition. Orwin, C.S. 1929 "The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest" London, Oxford University Press page(s) 32-33.
  • <5> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SE. MD002183.



Grid reference Centred SS 7740 4259 (1403m by 931m)
Map sheet SS74SE

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Related Events/Activities (1)

Related Articles (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO484
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE126
  • National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1041443
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 18810

Record last edited

Oct 23 2013 1:32PM


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