MMO2295 - 19th Century water meadow south of Lucott Farm (Monument)

Summary

A probable 19th century catchwork or field gutter water meadow system is visible on aerial photographs as a series of ditches or water channels. The system may be spring fed and it is not clear whether it passed through the farmyard.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A probable 19th Century water meadow of a type known locally as a catchwork or field gutter system, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of ditches or water channels to the south of Lucott Farm, Luccombe parish, centred on circa SS 8658 4493. Catchwork systems are usually found on steep combe sides and are designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream along the valley sides via one or more channels or gutters. When irrigation was required the gutters were blocked, causing water to overflow, thereby irrigating the slopes. This film of water prevented the ground freezing during the winter and raised the temperature of the grass in the spring, thereby encouraging early growth, particularly important during the hungry gap of March and April. Any excess water then returned to the feeder stream at the valley bottom or was removed by a tail drain. The use of a series of parallel gutters to improve the coverage is a common feature of Exmoor systems. The channel recorded here was most likely fed from a spring to the east at circa SS 8604 4466, but it is not clear whether the water was passed through the farmyard to pick up manure prior to flooding the slopes. It is possible that the Lucott Farm field gutter system was constructed in two phases; the western gutters appear very broad, almost resembling lynchets, whereas the eastern gutters are much slighter earthworks. [1-4] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106UK/1501 4202-3 (F20) (13 May 1946).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/72314 256-58 (16 August 1972).
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR MAL 76046 199-200 (25 June 1976).
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SE. MD002185. [Mapped feature: #42202 ]
  • <5> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1473560, Extant 21 February 2022.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8662 4488 (624m by 294m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS84SE
Civil Parish LUCCOMBE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SE173
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1473560

Record last edited

Feb 21 2022 4:27PM

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