MMO2609 - 19th Century water meadow north and southwest of Ford Farm (Monument)

Summary

A water meadow of probable 19th Century date is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1947. While it is possible it is associated with Ford Farm, it may instead be associated with Walland Farm.

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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 north and southwest of Ford Farm, centred on circa SS 9176 4000. 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 is relatively small, covering an area of approximately 1 hectare of the steep west and southeast facing combe slopes of a tributary to the River Avill. The water meadow appears to be constructed in two sections, on either side of the stream which the gutters tapped for water; on the east of the stream, directly to the north of the farm, and to west of the stream to the southwest of Ford Farm. 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. It is possible that the area of gutters to the southwest of Ford Farm is in fact associated with Walland. [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 CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3268-9 (11 April 1947).
  • <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 94 SW. MD002186. [Mapped feature: #32477 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 9174 4008 (135m by 215m) (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 SW118
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1479634

Record last edited

Aug 18 2020 10:02AM

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