MMO2989 - Post-medieval water meadow northwest of Edgcott Farm (Monument)

Summary

Two earthwork channels may be the remains of a simple water meadow of post-medieval date. If this is a water meadow, it is at an unusually low elevation.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A possible water meadow of post-medieval date, of a type known as a catch work, ditch gutter or field gutter system is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks to the north of Edgcott Farm at circa SS 8454 3884. 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. Located nearly at the valley floor, the gutters must be at the lowest elevation for practical operation as a catchwork system and the value of such a system must be questionable. Their water source is unclear but may be fed from water meadows to the northeast at Fords. It is possible the higher, broader possible gutter drained into the mill stream at Edgcott Farm. [1-3] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 4281-2 (11 April 1947).
  • <2> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <3>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 NW. MD002191. [Mapped feature: #32766 ]
  • <4> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1488162, Extant 30 August 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8453 3886 (162m by 154m) 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 NW87
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1488162

Record last edited

Aug 30 2021 10:12PM

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