MSO7104 - 19th Century drainage system on Lanacombe (Monument)


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

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

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 to 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. [2-5] 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 Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R..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, 9 August 1994.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 870-72 (29 April 1973).
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/95026 099-100 (12 March 1995).
  • <4> Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition. 32-33.
  • <5>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SE. MD002183. [Mapped feature: #38295 ]
  • <6> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1041443, Extant 26 May 2021.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO484
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE126
  • National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1041443
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 18810



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

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Related Monuments/Buildings (6)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Related Articles (1)

Record last edited

May 26 2021 10:06AM


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