MMO3011 - Post-medieval water meadow north of Mill Bridge (Monument)

Summary

A possible water meadow of post-medieval date is visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s. The gutters have probably now been destroyed by building development.

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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 of the 1940s, to the north of Mill Bridge, Withypool, at circa SS 8474 3565. Two water-channels, known as gutters, can be seen following the contours of the combe slopes for circa 35 metres, from the corners of a field to the east of Royal Oak Cottage, formerly the Royal Oak Inn. It is probably of a type known as a catch work, 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. The gutters have probably now been destroyed by building development. [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) 4357-8 (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: #32752 ]
  • <4> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1488336, Extant 27 August 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8474 3565 (41m by 87m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS83NW
Civil Parish WITHYPOOL AND HAWKRIDGE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET
Historic Parish WITHYPOOL

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 NW109
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1488336

Record last edited

Oct 12 2021 10:59AM

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