MMO2431 - 19th Century water meadow south of Greenlands Farm (Monument)

Summary

A water meadow of a type known as a catchwork or field gutter system is visible on aerial photographs as two parallel water channels or gutters. This example is probably associated with the enclosure of Greenlands Farm.

Please read the .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A water meadow of a type known as a catchwork or field-gutter system is visible on aerial photographs as two parallel water channels or gutters to the south of Greenlands Farm, Exford parish, centred on circa SS 8441 4109. Field gutter systems are usually found on combe or hill slopes and are designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream along the slope via a series of roughly parallel 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 the March and April. The gutters at Greenlands can be seen to follow the 390 and 380 metre aOD contours for approximately 140 metres around Greenland Water head, and may have been fed from Greenland Water itself. Such irrigation systems were frequently created as part of the 19th Century enthusiasm for agricultural improvement and this example is probably associated with the enclosure of Greenlands Farm. [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. NMR OS/73109 971-2 (29 April 1973).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 543/2821 (F64) 0159-160 (27 April 1964).
  • <3> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SW. MD002184. [Mapped feature: #32595 ]
  • <5> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1477525, Extant 20 July 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8442 4109 (139m by 102m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS84SW
Civil Parish EXFORD, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SW204
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1477525

Record last edited

Jul 20 2021 4:15PM

Feedback?

Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.