MMO2843 - Post-medieval water meadow north of Exford (Monument)

Summary

A post-medieval water meadow of a type known as catchwork or field gutter system is visible on aerial photographs. It may be what is known as a detached system, possibly associated with Coombe Farm to the north.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A post-medieval water meadow of a type known as catchwork or field gutter system is visible on aerial photographs to the immediate north of Exford, centred approximately on SS 8542 3864. Such water meadows are typically found on steep combe or hill slopes and are designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream along the slope via a series of roughly parallel channels or gutters. 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 the March and April. The water-meadow is sited on south facing slopes overlooking the centre of Exford and covers an area of approximately 2 hectares. It is not immediately clear with which farmstead the system may be associated. As it shares the same source as a water meadow adjacent to Coombe Farm it may be what is known as a detached system possibly associated with that farm. [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. [5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 54/2821 (F63) 157-8 (27 April 1964).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. ENPA MAL 77014 76-7 (20 May 1977).
  • <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 83 NE. MD002192. [Mapped feature: #32808 Extent of water meadow, ]
  • <5> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1485060, Extant 22 September 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8538 3863 (233m by 220m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS83NE
Civil Parish EXFORD, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 NE120
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1485060

Record last edited

Sep 22 2021 9:53AM

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