MSO7047 - Post-medieval water meadow at Long Combe (Monument)

Summary

A probable catchwork gutter is visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork. It taps Long Combe at the field boundary between the Larkbarrow and Tom's Hill estates and terminates at a field boundary some 650 metres to the northwest.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A contour leat on the lower south side of Long Combe taps the river at the boundary between Larkbarrow and Tom's Hill farms at its eastern end. In the west it terminates at a field boundary. The channel is about 0.5 metres wide and 0.2 metres deep with a retaining bank 1.3 metres wide. It crosses a quarry at SS 8115 4277. [1] It appears to join the water meadow system at Long Combe (MSO7028). (4) A water channel of a type known as a contour leat or gutter is visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork on the north facing slopes of Long Combe, roughly 250 metres to the south of Tom's Farm, centred on circa SS 8114 4279. The gutter taps Long Combe at the field boundary between the Larkbarrow and Tom's Hill estates and terminates at a field boundary some 650 metres to the northwest. With a second, somewhat slighter gutter immediately to the south, the channel probably acted as a simple catchwork or field gutter water meadow for the Tom's Hill farm estate. Such catchwork systems are usually found on steep combe sides and are designed to irrigate pasture 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. [5-7] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. McDonnell, R. 05/07/1982.
  • <2> Article in serial: Burrow, I., Minnitt, S. and Murless, B.. 1982. Somerset Archaeology 1981. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 126. 69-91. P.83.
  • <3> Report: McDonnell, R.. 1985. Recommendations for the Management of Archaeological Sites in the Exmoor National Park at Warren, Pinford, Tom's Hill and Hayes Allotment. P.67 (site 84).
  • <4> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. Chris Webster, 11 September 2002.
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3066-7 (11 April 1947).
  • <6> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <7>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 84 SW. MD002184. [Mapped feature: #47333 ]
  • <8> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 975038, Extant 6 July 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 8107 4274 (557m by 259m)
Map sheet SS84SW
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (6)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO422
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11006
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 SW96
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 975038
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33145

Record last edited

Jul 6 2021 12:12PM

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