MMO3112 - 19th Century water meadow south of Mounsey Farm (Monument)

Summary

A catchwater meadow of probable 19th Century date is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

An extensive water meadow of probable 19th Century date is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks centred on circa SS 8871 3023, to the south of Mounsey farm. This is a type of water meadow known as catchwork or field gutter system, commonly found on combe or hill slopes and designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream. The water is carried along the valley sides via one or more channels or gutters and 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 March and April. This is a small and compact water meadow covering an area of at least almost 6 hectares. It probably operated in tandem with a similar system immediately to the east, associated with Ashwick. The two water meadows are probably contemporary and would have shared a single water supply, the spring fed stream between them, operating on strict timetables to maximise its use. The gutters can still be seen on aerial photographs of 1972 but appear poorly maintained and may have passed out of use. [1-5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 106G/UK/1420 3296-7 (15 April 1946).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 543/2821 (F63) 0266-7 (27 April 1964).
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/72314 338-9 (16 August 1972).
  • <4> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <5> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 SE. MD002198.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8873 3014 (251m by 547m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS83SE
Civil Parish DULVERTON, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 SE65
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1490420

Record last edited

Mar 17 2020 1:29PM

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