MMO2669 - 19th Century water meadow northeast of Elseworthy Allotment (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
- None recorded
An extensive area of probable 19th Century date water meadow is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks, on the north facing slopes above a tributary to the River Avill from Elseworthy Allotment to Ford Lane at Holes Cross. The system is centred approximately on SS 9258 4198, but extends along the combe for over 1400 metres and covers an area approaching 15 hectares. It is unclear from the field patterns visible on the aerial photographs with which farm the water meadow is associated. It is possible it was associated with the deserted settlement at Spangate (MSO11771) or split between several farms; either way, a coordinated effort would have been required in its construction and use. The northeastern extent of the system can no longer be seen on aerial photographs of 1979. This is a type of water meadow known as catchwork or field gutter system, commonly found on combe or hill slopes and designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream. The water is carried along the valley sides via one or more channels or gutters and when irrigation was required the gutters were blocked, causing water to overflow from gutter to gutter, 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. [1-4]
- <1> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3200-2 (11 April 1947).
- <2> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/79013 264-5 (17 April 1979).
- <3> SEM7396 Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
- <4>XY SMO7569 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 94 SW. MD002186. [Mapped feature: #32462 ]
|Grid reference||Centred SS 9259 4208 (1153m by 758m) (Aerial Survey)|
|Civil Parish||WOOTTON COURTENAY, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (0)
Related Events/Activities (0)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1482517 (Original Monarch entry: 1482517)
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SW132
- Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1482517
Record last edited
Aug 17 2020 9:54PM
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