MMO2598 - 19th Century water meadow north of Oaktrow Farm (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
- None recorded
A water meadow of probable 19th Century date, of a type known as a catchwork or field gutter system, is visible as earthworks on aerial photographs to the north of Oaktrow Farm, cented on circa SS 9422 4055. The water meadow is of a type known as a catchwork or field gutter system usually found on combe or hill slopes and 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. This system covers an area of almost 2 hectares on northeast facing combe slopes, above a tributary to the River Avill. It was probably fed from a pond or spring to the south of Oaktrow Farm. A second water meadow about 500 metres to the north is probably also associated with Oaktrow Farm. The gutters remain visible on aerial photographs of the 1970s but field investigation is required to assess their current condition. [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. 
- <1> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 543/2821 (F63) 0148-9 (27 April 1964).
- <2> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/70386 343-4 (25 September 1970).
- <3> SEM7396 Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-29.
- <4>XY SMO7569 Archive: Hegarty, C.. 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 94 SW. MD002186. [Mapped feature: #32488 ]
- <5> SEM7987 Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1479524, Extant 24 May 2022.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 9422 4055 (101m by 228m) Aerial Survey|
|Civil Parish||CUTCOMBE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (1)
Related Events/Activities (1)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1479524 (Original Monarch entry: 1479524)
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SW107
- NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1479524
Record last edited
May 24 2022 2:56PM
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