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HER Number:MDV102329
Name:Possible former reservoir on Summerville Moor, Hartland


Possible modern reservoir earthworks are visible as a central depression and two wide curvilinear banks on aerial photographs from 1946 to 2007. The site became afforested before 1978, and tree cover now obscures most of the area. The feature may be contemporary with, or a precursor to, a known reservoir to the west, although its origin as a natural feature cannot be ruled out.


Grid Reference:SS 278 202
Map Sheet:SS22SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishHartland
Ecclesiastical ParishHARTLAND

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS22SE/41

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • RESERVOIR (XVIII to XIX - 1751 AD to 1880 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

No reservoir or other features are depicted.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/3G/TUD/UK/158, DCC RAF/3G/TUD/UK/158 5182-5183 19-APR-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349143.

Two large curvilinear banks around a roughly oval central depression or cut are visible as earthworks. Very narrow furrows are visible across the banks and the wider area.

Ordnance Survey, 1978, OS/78038, NMR OS/78038 306-307 10-MAY-1978 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349082.

The central cut feature is visible, but the banks are tree-covered.

Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photography, 2001, CUCAP ZknLQ, CUCAP ZknLQ 0074 22-JUN-2001 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349638.

Tree growth is higher over the banks.

Next Perspectives, 2007, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS2720 22-AUG-2007 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349178.

Scrub growth is visible in the central pit, which is surrounded by dense tree growth covering the banks and wider area.

Hegarty, C. + Knight, S., 2011 - 2012, North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV349018.

Two curvilinear banks are visible on aerial photographs dating to 1946, as large earthworks between 12 and 22 metes in width and circa 70 metres in length, and aligned, cross-contour, east to west. The earthworks take a similar form to the banks of the reservoir marked on historic mapping approximately 450 metres to the west, and may be an earlier or contemporary reservoir which went out of use at an earlier date in the modern or post-medieval period. Drains are visible cutting through the centre of the bank, and it is possible that a former eastern downslope part of the bank had been removed to facilitate drainage. The banks and wider area are cut by very narrow plough lines or ridges, presumably to prepare the land for afforestation. Aerial photographs taken in 1978 confirm that the site became forested, although the central area is visible as a treeless area. Dense tree growth is visible on 2007 aerial photographs, although a small area of the central pit is visible with scrub growth, and higher tree growth over the banks was visible on aerial photographs taken in 2001. The surrounding ground surface is uneven and very wet, and it is possible that this is an enhanced natural feature, which bears some resemblance with features to the east at East Gorvin Plantation. However its interpretation is by no means clear.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV349018Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S.. 2011 - 2012. North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. ACD383/2/1. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV349082Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1978. OS/78038. Ordnance Survey Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR OS/78038 306-307 10-MAY-1978.
SDV349143Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/3G/TUD/UK/158. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DCC RAF/3G/TUD/UK/158 5182-5183 19-APR-1946. [Mapped feature: #61779 ]
SDV349178Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2007. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref:. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS2720 22-AUG-2007.
SDV349638Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photography. 2001. CUCAP ZknLQ. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photography. Photograph (Paper). CUCAP ZknLQ 0074 22-JUN-2001.

Associated Monuments

MDV102452Related to: Possible reservoir north of Highworthy (Monument)
MDV19847Related to: Reservoir on Summerville Moor, Hartland (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6132 - North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty NMP Project

Date Last Edited:Feb 20 2013 3:38PM