MMO2598 - 19th Century water meadow north of Oaktrow Farm (Monument)

Summary

A water meadow of probable nineteenth century date, of a type known as a catchwork or field-gutter system, is visible as earthworks on aerial photographs.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

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]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 543/2821 (F63) 0148-9 (27 April 1964).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/70386 343-4 (25 September 1970).
  • <3> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-29.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 94 SW. MD002186. [Mapped feature: #32488 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 9422 4055 (101m by 228m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS94SW
Civil Parish CUTCOMBE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SW107
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1479524

Record last edited

Oct 26 2021 10:24AM

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