MMO400 - Post-medieval water meadow south of Torre Farm (Monument)

Summary

A post-medieval field gutter system is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1947.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A water meadow was noted on aerial photographs. [1,2] A water meadow of probable 19th century date is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks to the south of Torre Farm, centred on circa SS 8978 3743. This is an example of 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. The gutters are visible on the south-east facing slope of a combe immediately to the south of Torre Farm and cover an area of approximately 5 hectares. The system was probably supplied by a spring-fed stream towards the head of the combe to the north-east, and tapped by further gutters in sequence lower downslope. [3-6] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 3307, 3308.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Francis, P.. 1984. A Survey and Description of the Catch Meadow Irrigation Systems. 38.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3306-9 (11 April 1947).
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 4348-9 (11 April 1947).
  • <5> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <6>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 NE. MD002192. [Mapped feature: #32843 ]
  • <7> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 974648, Extant 21 September 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8985 3728 (354m by 459m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS83NE
Civil Parish WINSFORD, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11818
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO8578
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 NE55
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 974648
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34396

Record last edited

Sep 21 2021 4:23PM

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