MMO3305 - 19th Century water meadow south of Draydon Farm (Monument)

Summary

A catch water meadow of probable 19th century date is visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s onward as earthworks.

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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 of the 1940s onward as earthworks centred on circa SS 8951 2982 to the south of Draydon Farm. Such water meadows, known as catchwork, catch-meadow or field gutter systems, are usually found on combe or hill slopes and are 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. The visible gutters cover an area of around 3 hectares on relatively gentle combe-slopes to the south of the farm, spaced on average between 15 and 30 metres apart for each 5 metre drop in elevation. It is probable that the gutters were supplied by a pond to the south of the farm. The gutters remain visible on aerial photographs of 1995 but their condition after this point is not known. [1-4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF CPE/UK/1944 1163-4 (23 January 1947).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/95024 028-9 (12 March 1995).
  • <3> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <4> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 82 NE. MD002200.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8951 2978 (300m by 151m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS82NE
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 82 NE62
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1493732

Record last edited

Feb 22 2016 1:26PM

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