HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Historic England research records Result
Historic England research recordsPrintable version | About Historic England research records

Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1466318

Hob Uid: 1466318
Location :
Devon
North Devon
Lynton and Lynmouth
Grid Ref : SS7116049130
Summary : A water meadow of a type known locally as a catchwork or field-gutter system, of probable 19th century date, is visible as a series of parallel ditches or water channels on aerial photographs, to the north of the Lady Well, Lynton and Lynmouth parish. Such systems are usually found on combe sides 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, 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.
More information : A post-medieval water meadow of a type known locally as a catchwork or field-gutter system was constructed on north-and west facing slopes to the suth of Lynton, at circa SS 71164913.
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. Any excess water then returned to the feeder stream at the valley bottom or was removed by a tail drain. The use of a series of parallel gutters to improve the coverage, as seen here, is a common feature of Exmoor systems.
The water meadow is composed of four or five gutters. Four roughly parallel gutters are clearly visible on the east facing slope to the north of the Lady Well, which probably is the water source for the system. A fifth possible gutter is visible on the north facing slope to the north-east of the well, at circa SS 71274914, but this may be track not marked on the base map.
It is not apparent from the aerial photographs which establishment the water meadow is associated with. As it is not associated with a farmstead it is probably a detached system, distributing only what fertiliser was carried to it. (1-4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 4051-2 11-APR-1947
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 106G/UK/1501 F20 4360-1 13-MAY-1946
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Water Meadow
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 74 NW 199
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 35193
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01