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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1486571

Hob Uid: 1486571
Location :
Devon, Somerset
North Devon, Somerset West and Taunton
Exmoor, North Molton
Grid Ref : SS7724535652
Summary : A complex series of interconnecting drainage channels is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks covering Long Holcombe, Exmoor. The ditches most likely date to the mid 19th century and were probably part of the Knight family's attempt at agricultural improvement in the former Royal Forest. The system appears to have been designed to channel water from the summit of Long Holcombe into the various streams and other watercourses in the area, including Kinsford water. According to Orwin, many miles of drainage ditches were cut across different parts of Exmoor, but in most cases failed to provide adequate drainage.
More information : A complex series of interconnecting drainage channels is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks covering Long Holcombe, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7726 3569, the ditches extend across most of Long Holcombe, covering an area of some 115 hectares. The ditches cut across the contours of the slope, channelling water from the summit of Long Holcombe into the various streams and other watercourses in the area, including Kinsford water.
The ditches most likely date to the mid 19th century and were probably part of the Knight family's attempt at agricultural improvement in the former Royal Forest. According to Orwin, many miles of drainage ditches were cut across different parts of Exmoor, but in most cases failed to provide adequate drainage. Orwin also describes the Knight family's land agent, Robert Smith, and his proposal to construct so-called "sheep drains" across the more boggy areas in an attempt to provide grazing land for stock (1-2).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : Exmoor National Park Authority Infra Red False Colour 2325-27 1983
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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 88
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1486578
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