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Adlingfleet Level drainage
Adlingfleet, East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
associated engineer
John Smeaton
date  1767 - June 1772
era  Georgian  |  category  Drainage System  |  reference  SE837213
Adlingfleet Level is one of three adjoining low-lying regions bounded by the Rivers Ouse, Trent and Idle, that cover some 10,625 hectares to the south east of Doncaster. These were drained by John Smeaton during the 18th century, transforming boggy fens into valuable and productive agricultural land.
Adlingfleet Level covers 2,025 hectares of land between Ousefleet, Adlingfleet and Eastoft. The River Don once flowed along the north east of the region but was diverted by Sir Cornelius Vermuyden early in the 17th centruy as part of drainage at Hatfield Chase. Despite this work, and the fact that there are no natural watercourses at Adlingfleet, the level was flooded frequently and parts of it were almost always under water.
Smeaton first visited the area in 1755 but it was not until 1767 that his proposals were implemented. His scheme included cutting a new drain through the length of the area, with a new outfall into the River Trent at Trent Falls. Low water in the Trent was 0.5m below that in the Ouse, which allowed the sluice gates to remain open and draining for longer on each tide.
The drains typically had a base width of 1.5m and were 1.8-2.1m deep, with side slopes of about 40 degrees. Contractors for this work were James Pinkerton and John Dyson, although the outfall sluice was built by other contractors.
Contracts were let between August and November 1767, with John Grundy effectively taking over from Smeaton, and the main works were finished in 1769. The scheme reached completion in June 1772, at a cost of 7,000.
The main drain was 9.3km long, and necessitated the excavation of some 130,000 cubic metres of soil. The total length of branch drains was 19.8km.
Resident engineer: John Grundy
Surveyor of works: David Buffery
Drainage contractors: James Pinkerton, John Dyson
Research: ECPK
reference sources   JS
Location

Adlingfleet Level drainage