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HER Number:MDV19847
Name:Reservoir on Summerville Moor, Hartland


The earthworks of a modern reservoir shown on a late nineteenth century Ordnance Survey map are visible as a central pit and wide banks on aerial photographs from 1946 to 2007. The site became afforested before 1978, and although tree cover now obscures most of the site the earthworks are still partially visible. A possible precursor or contemporary reservoir is visible to the east.


Grid Reference:SS 274 201
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.

"Old Reservoir" shown.

Ordnance Survey, 1906, Untitled Source (Cartographic). SDV340049.

Ruined reservoir marked as old reservoir.

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

A large oval cut feature, with large curvilinear banks on the long sides, is visible as an earthwork. 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, with the bank on the east now forested, and the bank on the right forming part of a forestry track.

GetMapping, 1999, 089/99, DCC GM/089/99 0255-0256 24-JUL-1999 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349037.

The area is forested and no earthwork banks are visible, although a small area of the cut feature is clear of trees.

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, and part of the bank at the north-west end is visible.

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

The earthworks of an 'old reservoir' marked on late nineteenth century Ordnance Survey mapping are visible on 1946 aerial photographs as a large oval cut feature 60 metres by 25 metres, with curvilinear banks of approximately 12 metres in width on its eastern and western long sides. There are no banks on the south side, but the deep cut is clear. The banks and wider area are cut by very narrow plough lines or ridges which run approximately north-north-east to south-south-west, and these are presumably to prepare the land for afforestation. Aerial photographs taken in 1978 confirm that the site is forested, although the central reservoir cut is visible as a treeless area, and the north western part of the bank has been incorporated into a forestry track. Dense tree growth is visible on 1999 aerial photographs, although a small area of the central pit is still clear of trees, and in 2007 the north-west part of the bank is visible and the interior has scrubbed up. The period of use of the reservoir is not known, but it had presumably became disused within living memory when surveying the Ordnance Survey map, and is likely to have a modern date. It is interesting that the form of the earthworks resembles nearby earthworks to the east and more amorphous earthworks to the north, and it may have been an earlier, perhaps geoplogical, feature that has been enhanced.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV340049Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1906. Ordnance Survey 6 inch map. Map (Paper).
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
SDV349037Aerial Photograph: GetMapping. 1999. 089/99. GetMapping Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). DCC GM/089/99 0255-0256 24-JUL-1999.
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: #82619 ]
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.

Associated Monuments

MDV102329Related to: Possible former reservoir on Summerville Moor, Hartland (Monument)
MDV102452Related to: Possible reservoir north of Highworthy (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

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

Date Last Edited:Feb 20 2013 3:32PM