MSO9343 - Post-medieval water meadow at Liscombe 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

  • None recorded

Full Description

Water meadow system seen on aerial photographs around Liscombe Farm. [1,2] An extensive water meadow of probable 19th century date is visible on aerial photographs to the north and south of Liscombe Farm, Dulverton parish, extending over an area of about 15 hectares centred at circa SS 877324. This is 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. It is probable that this extensive water meadow was associated with Liscombe Farm. Two smaller systems visible immediately to the east may be mistaken for part of this system, but are potentially connected to Old Ashway and Lower Spire Cottages. The two northernmost earthworks, probably carriage gutters or headmains, are marked on the First Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1889. [3-8]

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Report: Francis, P.T.H.. 1984. A Survey and Description of the "Catch Meadow" Irrigation Systems Found in the Exmoor Region of West Somerset. 39.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 3164.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 106G/UK/1944 3164 (23 January 1947).
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF CPE/UK/2082 4036-7 (19 May 1947).
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 540/890 (F20) 3028-9 (3 October 1952).
  • <6> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 543/2332 0099-100 (26 July 1963).
  • <7> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <8> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 876 325 (909m by 678m)
Map sheet SS83SE
Civil Parish DULVERTON, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO362
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11832
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 SE41
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 932998
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34410

Record last edited

Sep 1 2021 8:41AM

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