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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1486578

Hob Uid: 1486578
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exmoor
Grid Ref : SS7607735874
Summary : A complex series of interconnecting drainage ditches are visible as earthworks on moorland between Hangley Cleave and Long Holcombe, Exmoor. They apparently were designed to direct water from the summit of the moor towards Kinsford Water and other smaller streams in the area, and were most likely constructed during the mid 19th century as part of the Knight family's attempt at agricultural improvement in the area. A similar system is visible on Long Holcombe to the east, but as the two systems are divided by a contemporaneous boundary wall they have been recorded separately.
More information : A complex series of interconnecting drainage ditches are visible as earthworks on moorland between Hangley Cleave and Long Holcombe, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7602 3598, the ditches extend across an area of some 93 hectares, cutting across the contours of the slope.They apparently were designed to direct water from the summit of the moor towards Kinsford Water and other smaller streams in the area.
This drainage system was most likely constructed during the mid 19th century as part of the Knight family's attempt at agricultural improvement in the area. According to Orwin, many miles of drainage ditches were cut across various parts of Exmoor, but failed to provide adequate drainage for the land to be enclosed. Orwin also refers to the Knight family's land agent, Robert Smith, who advocated the construction of so-called "sheep drains" on the wetter areas to provide extra grazing land for stock. A similar system is visible on Long Holcombe to the east, but as the two systems are divided by a contemporaneous boundary wall they have been recorded separately (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. "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 89
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1486571
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