MSO6298 - 19th Century water meadow at Ford Farm (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
- None recorded
A water meadow of probable 19th Century date, of a type known as a catchwork or field gutter system, is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks to the south of Ford Farm, fed by a tributary to the River Avill. This is a relatively small system, covering circa 1 hectare centred on circa SS 9271 4229, some 250 metres to the south of Ford Farm, with which it may be associated. It may be part of a more extensive system to the south of the stream, which may be associated with the deserted farm at Spangate. However, small spoil heaps visible alongside the gutters on the aerial photographs of 1947 suggest recent maintenance of the system; as Spangate was deserted prior to this date an association with Ford Farm might be more probable. 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. [1-5]
- <1> SEM6918 Report: Francis, P.T.H.. 1984. A Survey and Description of the "Catch Meadow" Irrigation Systems Found in the Exmoor Region of West Somerset. 38.
- <2> SMO4067 Aerial photograph: Aerial photograph reference number . CPE.UK.1980 4178 (April 1947).
- <3> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3200-2 (11 April 1947).
- <4> SEM7396 Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
- <5>XY SMO7569 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 94 SW. MD002186. [Mapped feature: #39975 ]
|Grid reference||Centred SS 927 423 (226m by 255m)|
|Civil Parish||WOOTTON COURTENAY, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (1)
Related Events/Activities (0)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?a=0&hob_id=1086674 (Pastscape entry: 1086674)
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO540
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11925
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SW67
- National Park
- Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1086674
- Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34505
Record last edited
Jul 29 2020 2:04PM
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