MMO3114 - 19th Century water meadow around Milbrook deserted farmstead (Monument)

Summary

A water meadow of probable 19th Century date is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks extending to the north and south of the deserted farmstead of Milbrook, with which it was probably associated.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A water meadow of probable 19th Century date is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks centred on circa SS 8951 3088, to the north and south of the deserted farmstead of Milbrook. 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 an elongated water-meadow, covering almost 9 hectares of narrow combe slopes. The gutters can still be seen on aerial photographs of 1972 but have clearly been out of use for some time. [1-4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/72314 340-1 (16 August 1972).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 106G/UK/1420 3466-7 (15 April 1946).
  • <3> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 SE. MD002198. [Mapped feature: #42568 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8965 3088 (463m by 931m) (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 SE68
  • Pastscape / NRHE HOB UID: 1490427

Record last edited

Apr 11 2021 9:59PM

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