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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1475743

Hob Uid: 1475743
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exmoor
Grid Ref : SS7801442374
Summary : A very large area of post medieval, probably 19th century parallel drainage ditches is visible as earthworks across Great Buscombe and Trout Hill, Exmoor. 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.
More information : A very large area of post medieval, probably 19th century parallel drainage ditches is visible as earthworks across Great Buscombe and Trout Hill, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7772 4184, the ditches run in avariety of directions, mostly following the contours of Great Buscombe and Trout hill, with the total drainage system covering an area of approximately 162 hectares. At the southern edge of Great Buscombe, the ditches appear to have been recut, and form a criss-cross pattern. In several areas, the ditches are cut by 19th century field boundaries, some of which appear on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map of 1889. This would indicate that the drainage system had been abandoned some time prior to publication, and the field boundaries constructed over it. According to the Somerset HER, the size of the channels is variable; however some measure up to 1.5 metres wide and 0.8 metres deep.
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 (1-6).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/73109 934-36 29-APR-1973
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/73109 966-67 29-APR-1973
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Source Number : 3
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/95026 107-09 12-MAR-1995
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Source Number : 4
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Orwin, C.S. 1929 "The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest" London, Oxford University Press page(s) 32-33
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Source Number : 5
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : Somerset County Council. 2008. Somerset Historic Environment Record. <> [04-JUL-2008]
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Source Number : 6
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:2500 1889
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Drainage Ditch, Drainage System
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 18810
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 74 SE 190
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1476409
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1476519
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1477817
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1475936
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1475947
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1477851
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1477856
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1477860
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1475726
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1475739
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1041443
Relationship type : General association

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