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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1477856

Hob Uid: 1477856
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exmoor
Grid Ref : SS8143441069
Summary : Post medieval drainage ditches are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs across the southern slopes of Elseworthy, Exmoor parish. The ditches were most likely cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at improvement, possibly associated with the construction of Tom's Hill Farm around 1850. Many miles of drainage ditches were cut across parts of Exmoor, but did not address the underlying issue of compacted ironpan soils and failed to provide adequate drainage for improvement. Similar drainage systems are visible in the surrounding areas, some draining into natural streams and water courses, others appearing to drain into contour leats. Many of the ditches appear to be associated with peat cutting, most of which may post-date the drains.
More information : A system of post medieval drainage ditches is visible on aerial photographs, across the southern slopes of Elseworthy, Exmoor parish. The ditches were possibly cut as part of the Knight family's attempt at agricultural improvement associated with the construction of Tom¿s Hill Farm around 1850. Centred approximately SS 81324109, this drainage system covers an area of approximately 10 hectares. Orientated predominantly north-east to south-west across the contours of Elseworthy, the densest area majority of the drains were probably intended to direct run off water towards Rams Combe. A few outlying ditches to the east of the system may have drained towards Sparcombe Water. Similar but much more extensive drainage systems are visible to the north and west towards Warren Farm, some draining into natural streams and water courses, others appearing to drain into the various contour leats.
According to Orwin, many miles of drainage ditches were cut across parts of Exmoor, but this technique did not address the underlying issue of compacted ironpan soils and failed to provide adequate drainage for improvement.
(1-3).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 543/2821 (F64) 0163-4 27-APR-1964
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Source Number : 2
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SS 8141/5 (15661/5) 08-APR-1997
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Source Number : 3
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Orwin, C.S. 1929 The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. London, Oxford University Press
Page(s) : 32-3
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Drain, Drainage System
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 84 SW 231
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1477817
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1477851
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1477860
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1475743
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1475726
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1475739
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1041443
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