MMO2850 - 19th Century water meadow southeast of Hawkington Farm (Monument)

Summary

A water meadow of probable 19th Century date is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks. It is visible covering an area of almost 8 hectares, cut into the south facing slopes above the River Quarme.

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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 associated with Hawkington Farm, centred on circa SS 8935 3954. Such water meadows are typically 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. In total the water-meadow is visible covering an area of almost 8 hectares. Fragmentary sections of gutter are marked on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map [3], which may support the interpretation that the water meadow predates 1890 and had passed out of use by this time. However, the gutters can still be seen as subtle earthworks on aerial photographs of 1973. [1-5] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [6]

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3272-3 (11 April 1947).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 1068-9 (29 April 1973).
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890.
  • <4> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <5>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 NE. MD002192. [Mapped feature: #32802 ]
  • <6> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1485125, Extant 22 September 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8929 3950 (506m by 277m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS83NE
Civil Parish CUTCOMBE, 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 NE127
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1485125

Record last edited

Sep 22 2021 9:07AM

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