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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1486568

Hob Uid: 1486568
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exmoor
Grid Ref : SS7934035858
Summary : An area of regular post medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks on Sherdon, Exmoor. They were most probably cut during the mid-19th century as part of the Knight family's attempt at agricultural improvement in this area. Similar drainage systems can be seen in many areas within the former Royal Forest of Exmoor, but according to Orwin, most failed to provide adequate drainage for the land to be enclosed.
More information : An area of regular post medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks on Sherdon, Exmoor. They were most probably cut during the mid-19th century as part of the Knight family's attempt at agricultural improvement in this area. Centred at approximately SS 7940 3593, the majority of the ditches run diagonally across both sides of a valley or small combe, arranged in a "herringbone" pattern, and directing water into the small stream. A larger channel curves down from the summit of Sherdon and Horsen Hill to connect with the stream at its source.
Similar drainage systems can be seen in many areas within the former Royal Forest of Exmoor, but according to Orwin, most failed to provide adequate drainage for the land to be enclosed. Orwin also refers to the Knight's land agent, Robert Smith, who advocated the construction of so-called "sheep drains" on the boggy ground to provide grazing land for cattle and sheep (1-2).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/96507 64-65 30-MAR-1996
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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 page(s) 33, 57
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1800
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 NE 87
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