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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1484189

Hob Uid: 1484189
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exmoor
Grid Ref : SS7318639792
Summary : A small area of regular post medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs on moorland to the north-east of Aclands Farm, Exmoor. The ditches were most likely cut in an attempt to drain the land some time after 1841(Aclands was built after this date according to Burton). According to Orwin, many miles of drainage ditches were cut across parts of Exmoor, but failed to provide adequate drainage for much of 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 specially constructed leats.
More information : A small area of regular post medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs on moorland to the north-east of Aclands Farm, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7322, four parallel ditches running north-south are visible, connected to a pair of ditches running east-west. It seems likely that the four parallel ditches were designed to channel water across the east facing slope to the pair of ditches, which then directed the water down slope to the River Barle. The system is small, covering an area of only 0.8 hectares.
The ditches were most likely cut in an attempt to drain the land some time after 1841. Aclands was built after this date according to Burton (2). According to Orwin, many miles of drainage ditches were cut across parts of Exmoor, but failed to provide adequate drainage for much of 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 specially constructed leats. These ditches are believed to have been constructed as part of the Knight family's attempt at land improvement, and it is possible that this small system at Aclands was an attempt to copy their methods (1-3).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/73109 1041-42 29-APR-1973
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Source Number : 3
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Orwin, C.S. 1929 "The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest" Oxford University Press, London page(s) 33
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Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Burton, R. A. 1989 "The Heritage of Exmoor" Maslands Ltd, Tiverton page(s) 87
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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 System, 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 73 NW 71
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
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