MMO2983 - Post-medieval water meadow south of Hill Farm (Monument)

Summary

A catchwork water meadow system is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks to the south of Hill Farm, with which it is probably associated. It was probably fed by a spring originating to the southeast of the farm.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A water meadow of probable post-medieval date, of a type known as a catchwork, ditch gutter or field gutter system is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks to the south of Hill Farm with which it is probably associated. The system is only fragmentally visible but appears to consist of 2 to 4 gutters centred on circa SS 8360 3987, on the south facing slopes above the River Exe. The gutters were probably fed by a spring which rises to the southeast of the farm. It is likely that further gutters may be present but are not visible on the available aerial photographs clearly enough to be transcribed. 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. [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 OS/73109 1058-9 (29 April 1973).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 4314-5 (11 April 1947).
  • <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 NW. MD002191. [Mapped feature: #42185 ]
  • <5> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1488128, Extant 1 September 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8356 3986 (299m by 112m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS83NW
Civil Parish EXFORD, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 NW81
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1488128

Record last edited

Sep 1 2021 12:08PM

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