MMO2608 - 19th Century water meadow between Ford Farm and Walland Farm (Monument)

Summary

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

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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 on aerial photographs as earthworks to the south and east of Walland Farm, centred on circa SS 9171 4012. The water meadow is of a type known as a catchwork or field gutter system found on combe or hill slopes and designed to irrigate pasture usually 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 approximately 2.5 hectares on the steep south and east facing combe slopes of a tributary to the River Avill to the south and east of Walland Farm. The water meadow appears to be constrcuted in two sections. The gutters immediately to the south of the farm were probably fed by a pond within the farmyard, and may have incorporated manure into the water to further improve the nutrients supplied to the pasture. The gutters directly to the east of the farm, on the east facing combe slopes, probably directly tapped the tributary stream. This is one of three water meadows in close proximity identified within the relatively small area of this combe. Its extent and postulated association with Walland Farm is based upon the pattern of field boundaries alone and is not definitive. [1-4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3268-9 (11 April 1947).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 58/5159 (F21) 231-2 (4 June 1962).
  • <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: #32479 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 9163 4017 (276m by 287m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS94SW
Civil Parish CUTCOMBE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SW117
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1479631

Record last edited

May 4 2022 11:52AM

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