MMO3777 - 19th Century water meadow south of Shircombe Farm (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
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] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. 
- <1> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR NMR RAF 106G/UK/1420 (F20) 3458-9 (15 April 1946).
- <2> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR MAL 76068 044-5 (4 August 1976).
- <3> SEM7396 Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
- <4>XY SMO7580 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 SW. MD002197. [Mapped feature: #32674 ]
- <5> SEM7987 Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1500374, Extant 3 February 2022.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 8454 3082 (271m by 105m) Aerial Survey|
|Civil Parish||WITHYPOOL AND HAWKRIDGE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (1)
Related Events/Activities (1)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1500374 (Pastscape entry: 1500374)
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 SW125
- NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1500374
Record last edited
Feb 3 2022 9:53AM
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