MMO3116 - 19th century water meadow south of Lower Spire Cottages (Monument)
Please read the caveat document.
Type and Period (1)
- None recorded
A small water meadow of probable 19th Century date is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks to the south of Lower Spire Cottages, at circa SS 8810 3246. 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. It probably tapped a tributary to the River Barle that flows to the south of the water meadow. However, it is unclear from the aerial photographs alone whether the system was associated with Lower Spire Cottages or is part of a much larger water meadow system to the west associated with Liscombe Farm. If it is a stand alone system it is very small, covering less than one hectare slopes. As this stream also supplied elements of the Liscombe Farm system, a degree of organisation would have been required between settlements. The gutters cannot be seen on aerial photographs of 1972. [1-4]
- <1> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/72314 435-6 (16 August 1972).
- <2> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 106G/UK/1944 3164 (23 January 1947).
- <3> SEM7396 Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
- <4>XY SMO7581 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 SE. MD002198. [Mapped feature: #32714 ]
|Grid reference||Centred SS 8809 3245 (117m by 107m) (Aerial Survey)|
|Civil Parish||DULVERTON, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (2)
Related Events/Activities (0)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1490449 (Pastscape entry: 1490449)
- Pastscape / NRHE HOB UID: 1490449
Record last edited
Apr 11 2021 9:56PM
Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.