MMO2297 - 19th Century water meadow southeast of Pool Farm (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
- None recorded
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 and east of Pool Farm, Luccombe parish, centred on circa SS 8658 4493. A single spring fed gutter or head main, 200 metres to the north of Pool Farm, at circa SS 8738 4451, also probably acted as a simple water meadow and although the gutter itself is only partially visible, it can be seen in operation, flooding the slopes to the north, on aerial photographs of 1946. It is probable this spring fed gutter was also associated with Pool farm. 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 main water meadow recorded here was probably fed directly from Pool Combe, but it is not clear whether the water was passed through the farmyard to pick up manure prior to flooding the slopes. [1-6] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. 
- <1> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106UK/1655 4090-1 (F20) (11 June 1946).
- <2> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/79013 255-6 (17 April 1973).
- <3> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106UK/1501 4199-4200 (F20) (13 May 1946).
- <4> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. ENPA MAL IR 77013 088-089 (20 May 1977).
- <5> SEM7396 Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
- <6> SMO7568 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SE. MD002185.
- <7> SEM7987 Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1473569, Extant 17 March 2022.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 8744 4445 (351m by 329m) (2 map features)|
|Civil Parish||LUCCOMBE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (2)
Related Events/Activities (1)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1473569 (Original Monarch entry: 1473569)
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SE175
- NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1473569
Record last edited
Mar 17 2022 11:34AM
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