MMO2845 - 19th Century water meadow south of Sharcott Farm (Monument)
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Type and Period (2)
- None recorded
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 of Sharcott, centred on circa SS 8559 3952. Such water meadows are usually found on 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. This is a relatively small water meadow, the main body of the system less than two hectares in area and consisting of four gutters on the west facing slope of a narrow combe to the south of the farm. The gutters tap the spring fed stream that flows down the centre of the valley. A longer gutter, visible for about 220 metres on the east facing slope of the combe, may be of a type known as a head main or carriage gutter. It may have operated as part of this water meadow but probably primarily supplied water to a water meadow at Coombe Farm, and most likely joined with, or is the same feature as, a gutter visible circa 100 metres to the southwest. [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.  The carriage gutter appears to be visible on the 25 inch 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map. 
- <1> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3279-80 (11 April 1947).
- <2> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 54/2821 (F63) 157-8 (27 April 1964).
- <3> SEM7396 Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
- <4>XY SMO7575 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 NE. MD002192. [Mapped feature: #32806 ]
- <5> SEM7987 Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1485085, Extant 22 September 2021.
- <6> SEM6703 Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 8549 3946 (299m by 349m) Enhanced using SEM6703|
|Civil Parish||EXFORD, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (0)
Related Events/Activities (1)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1485085 (Pastscape entry: 1485085)
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 NE122
- NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1485085
Record last edited
Sep 22 2021 9:38AM
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