MSO11838 - 19th Century water meadow at Great Staddon (Monument)

Summary

A water meadow of probable 19th century date is visible on aerial photographs and is probably associated with Staddon Farm, fed by a spring to the northwest of the farmstead.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Water meadow system seen on aerial photographs around Great Staddon Farm. [1,2] A water meadow of probable 19th Century date is visible on aerial photographs to the south of Staddon Farm, with which it may is probably associated. The system covers an area of approximately 9 hectares centred on circa SS 8819 3684. This is a small 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 water meadow may be described as one system comprised of two parts; the first forming the northern half of the water meadow, fed by a spring to the northwest of Staddon Farm; the second forming the southern half, tapping a spring fed tributary to the River Exe. [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. 3310 and 4350-1.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Francis, P.. 1984. A Survey and Description of the Catch Meadow Irrigation Systems. 39.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF CPE/UK/1944 4162-3 (23 January 1947).
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR SS 8736/4 (NMR 15780/04) (20 January 1998).
  • <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: #47525 ]
  • <7> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 974749, Extant 13 September 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8814 3681 (341m by 404m)
Map sheet SS83NE
Civil Parish WINSFORD, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO408
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO8584
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 NE64
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 974749
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34416

Record last edited

Sep 13 2021 9:18PM

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