MMO2985 - Post-medieval water meadow northwest of Muddicombe Cross (Monument)

Summary

A water meadow of probable post-medieval date is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks.

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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 probably associated with the settlement at Muddicombe. 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 main body of the system is centred on circa SS 8335 3922, and is visible as up to 9 gutters probably supplied by two spring fed streams. It is possible that some of apparently individual gutters connect to form longer earthworks. A single gutter some 85 metres to the northwest of the main system may indicate that the system is more extensive than visible on the available aerial photographs. It is likely that further gutters may be present but are not visible clearly enough on the available aerial photographs to be transcribed. [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 106G/UK/1501 (F20) 4062-3 (13 May 1946).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 4314-5 (11 April 1947).
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 1058-9 (29 April 1973).
  • <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 NW. MD002191. [Mapped feature: #32769 ]
  • <6> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1488139, Extant 30 August 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8334 3921 (321m by 194m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS83NW
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 NW83
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1488139

Record last edited

Aug 30 2021 10:38PM

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