MSO11839 - 19th Century water meadow southeast and southwest of Newland Farm (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
- None recorded
Water system seen on aerial photographs just to the west of Newland. [1,2] Authority  notes a water meadow system seen on aerial photographs just to the west of Newland. In fact a simple water meadow of probable 19th Century date can be seen as earthworks extending to the west and east of Newland, centred on circa SS 8367 3550. The water meadow is of a type known as a catch work, ditch gutter or field gutter system. Such water meadows are typically found on combe or hill slopes and are designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream along the slope via a series of roughly parallel channels or gutters. 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 the March and April. The low lying situation of this system is somewhat unusual, but it appears to be of sufficient elevation, dropping between 255 and 260 metres above Ordnance Datum, to allow the required flow of water. However, the source of the water remains unclear. A single short gutter visible circa 200 metres to the northeast of Newland may have operated independently from the larger system, but has been recorded here due to its probable association with Newlands. [1,3,4] 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> SSO289 Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 4359-60.
- <2> SSO1179 Unpublished document: Francis, P.. 1984. A Survey and Description of the Catch Meadow Irrigation Systems. 37.
- <3> SEM7396 Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
- <4>XY SMO7574 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 NW. MD002191. [Mapped feature: #47429 ]
- <5> SEM7987 Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 974496, Extant 27 July 2021.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 8372 3552 (423m by 143m)|
|Civil Parish||WITHYPOOL AND HAWKRIDGE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (0)
Related Events/Activities (2)
External Links (0)
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO388
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO8720
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NW47
- National Park: Exmoor National Park
- NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 974496
- Somerset SMR PRN: 34417
Record last edited
Jul 27 2021 12:09PM
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