MMO2493 - Contour leat or headmain on East Pinford Hill (Monument)

Summary

A water channel known as a contour leat or headmain is visible as an earthwork ditch, descending East Pinford Hill from south to north for over 1.3 kilometres. It may have acted as a simple catchwork or field-gutter system.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A water channel known as a contour leat or headmain is visible as an earthwork ditch centred on circa SS 80264239, descending East Pinford hill from an elevation of almost 400 metres above Ordnance Datum to approximately 350 metres above Ordnance Datum, over 1.3 kilometres. The headmain tapped an unnamed tributary to Long Combe at circa SS 802419 and possibly acted as a simple water meadow of a type known as a catchwork or field-gutter system. On Exmoor these are typically nineteenth century in date and are usually found on combe or hill slopes. They are designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream along the slope via one or more of 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. [1,2]

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 540/931 (F20) 3109-3110 08-NOV-1952.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 543/2821 (F65) 166-7 27-APR-1964.
  • <3> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SW. MD002184.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8004 4248 (566m by 968m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS84SW
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SW243
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1477940

Record last edited

Mar 26 2018 10:37AM

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