MMO2851 - (Monument)

Summary

A simple water-meadow of probable 19th century date, of a type known as a catch-work or field gutter system, is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks associated with Combeleigh Farm. 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. The water-meadow is visible as only 2 gutters to the south-west of the farm, 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 catch-work or field gutter system, is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks associated with Combeleigh Farm, centred on circa SS 89873927. 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. The water-meadow is relatively simple, consisting of only 2 gutters, visible as earthworks cut into the south-facing slopes above the River Quarme for approximately 340 metres. It is possible the gutters continued further to the west and operated in tandem with the larger system to the south of Hawkington Farm. (1-3)

Sources/Archives (4)

  • --- Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3272-3 11-APR-1947.
  • --- Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. p 28-9: Cook. H. & Williamson, T. (2007) Introducing Water Meadows, in Water Meadows; History, Ecolo.
  • --- Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. p 1: Taylor, C. (2007) The Archaeology of Water Meadows, in Water Meadows; History, Ecology and Cons.
  • --- Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 NE. MD002192.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8983 3931 (333m by 98m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS83NE
Civil Parish CUTCOMBE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1485129

Record last edited

Jan 20 2011 12:31PM

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