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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1470332

Hob Uid: 1470332
Location :
Somerset
West Somerset
Exmoor
Grid Ref : SS7373141439
Summary : An area of regular post medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs in fields north of Driver Farm, Exmoor. The ditches were most likely cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at improvement, probably at the same time as the construction of Driver Farm around 1845. 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 Pinkery Canal. Many of the ditches are associated with areas of peat cutting.
More information : An area of regular post medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs in fields north of Driver Farm, Exmoor. The ditches were most likely cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at improvement, probably at the same time as the construction of Driver Farm around 1845. Centred at approximately SS 7356 4140, the ditches run east-west across a north-west facing slope above an un-named stream. It appears that the ditches were designed to channel water into this stream. The ditches are all cut in straight parallel lines, and cover an area of approximately 32 hectares. The whole area around The Chains is particularly boggy and peat covered, and it seems likely that the ditches were cut to drain the area prior to it being enclosed.
According to Orwin, many miles of drainage ditches were cut across parts of Exmoor, but in some areas failed to provide adequate drainage for the land to be enclosed (2). Large areas of Exmoor were succesfully drained, although it appears that this area, which is still open and boggy moorland was not one of them.
Other similar ditches are visible in the surrounding areas, some draining into natural streams and water courses, others appearing to drain into Pinkery Canal. Many of the ditches are associated with areas of peat cutting (1-3).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/73109 926-27 29-APR-1973
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Source Number : 2
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Orwin, C.S. 1929 "The Reclamation Of Exmoor Forest" Oxford University Press, London
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Source Number : 3
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Riley, H and Wilson-North, R 2004 "The Field Archaeology of Exmoor" English Heritage, Swindon
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1818
Monument Type : Drainage Ditch
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 74 SW 171
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1044510
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1470502
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1470637
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01