MMO3777 - 19th Century water meadow south of Shircombe Farm (Monument)

Summary

A water meadow of probable 19th Century date is visible on aerial photographs as earthwork water channels to the south of Shircombe Farm, with which it was possibly associated.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A water-meadow of probable 19th century date is visible on aerial photographs as earthwork water-channels centred on circa SS 84563082, south of Shircombe Farm, with which it was possibly associated. The gutters form a type of water-meadow known as a catchwork, catch-water or field-gutter system. Such water-meadows are commonly found on combe or hill slopes and are designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring, stream or river. The water was carried along the slopes by the gutters and when irrigation was required the gutters were blocked, causing water to overflow from gutter to gutter, thereby evenly irrigating the slopes. This film of water prevented the ground freezing during the winter and raised the temperature of the soil in the spring thereby encouraging an early growth of grass, particularly important during the hungry gap of March and April. The gutters have probably been levelled by 1976. [1-4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR NMR RAF 106G/UK/1420 (F20) 3458-9 (15 April 1946).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR MAL 76068 044-5 (4 August 1976).
  • <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 SW. MD002197. [Mapped feature: #32674 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8454 3082 (271m by 105m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS83SW
Civil Parish WITHYPOOL AND HAWKRIDGE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1500374

Record last edited

Apr 27 2021 4:15PM

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