MMO909 - Post-medieval water meadow south of North Hawkwell 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

Full Description

Water meadow system of probable post-medieval date, visible on vertical aerial photographs at North Hawkwell. [1] A water meadow of probable nineteenth century date, of a type known as a catchwork or field-gutter system, is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks to the south of North Hawkwell Farm, on the combe slopes above the River Avill, centred on circa SS 92934001. The water meadow is of a type known as a catchwork or field-gutter system found on combe or hill slopes and designed to irrigate pasture usually by diverting water from a spring or stream along the valley sides via one or more channels or gutters. When irrigation was required the gutters were blocked, causing water to overflow, 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. Any excess water then returned to the feeder stream at the valley bottom or was removed by a tail drain. This system is individually not particularly extensive, covering an area of approximately 5 hectares. However, it is one of three such systems above the Avill and it is probable that they are inter-connected to some extent, creating a much larger system indicative of significant cooperation in their construction. [2-5]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980 3267-8 11-APR-1947.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 543/2821 (F63) 0144-5 27-APR-1964.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR MAL/76067 174 04-AUG-1976.
  • <4> Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. p 1: Taylor, C. (2007) The Archaeology of Water Meadows, in Water Meadows; History, Ecology and Cons.
  • <5> Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. p 28-29: Cook. H. & Williamson, T. (2007) Introducing Water Meadows, in Water Meadows; History, Ecol.
  • <6> Archive: RCHME: Brendon Hills Mapping Project, SS 93 NW. AF1129721.
  • <7> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 94 SW. MD002186.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 9261 3990 (1214m by 289m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS93NW
Civil Parish CUTCOMBE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET
Civil Parish TIMBERSCOMBE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO8341
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO9285
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 93 NW100
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1132522

Record last edited

Mar 20 2014 3:54PM

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