MMO3113 - 19th Century water meadow west of Ashwick (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
- None recorded
An extensive water meadow of probable 19th Century date is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks centred on circa SS 8889 3027, to the west of Ashwick. 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 circa 3.5 hectares. It probably operated in tandem with a similar system immediately to the west, probably associated with Mounsey Farm, to the northwest. 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]
- <1> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/72314 338-9 (16 August 1972).
- <2> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 543/2821 (F63) 0266-7 (27 April 1964).
- <3> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 106G/UK/1420 3296-7 (15 April 1946).
- <4> SEM7396 Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
- <5>XY SMO7581 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 SE. MD002198. [Mapped feature: #42567 ]
|Grid reference||Centred SS 8885 3027 (151m by 376m) (Aerial Survey)|
|Civil Parish||DULVERTON, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (0)
Related Events/Activities (0)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1490423 (Pastscape entry: 1490423)
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 SE66
- Pastscape / NRHE HOB UID: 1490423
Record last edited
Apr 11 2021 10:06PM
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