MMO3009 - Post-medieval water meadow south of Edgcott (Monument)

Summary

A possible post-medieval catchwork water meadow is visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork channel. Although not visible, the presence of further gutters is indicated by a flush of water on the slopes.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A possible water meadow of post-medieval date is visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork channel to south of Edgcott, at circa SS 8468 3856. Although not visible, the presence of further gutters is indicated by a flush of water on the slopes above Alscombe Water. It is probably of a type known as a catchwork, ditch gutter or field gutter system, which are typically found on combe or hill slopes. They are designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream along the slope via the 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. It is unclear from the aerial photographs and map evidence available to the survey from where the system was supplied with water, but it was most probably an unrecorded spring. [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) 3281-2 (11 April 1947).
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1904.
  • <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: #32754 ]
  • <6> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1488325, Extant 27 August 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8469 3854 (151m by 110m) 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 NW107
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1488325

Record last edited

Aug 27 2021 10:45PM

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