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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1473564

Hob Uid: 1473564
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Luccombe
Grid Ref : SS8698844568
Summary : A possible simple water meadow of a type known locally as a catchwork or field-gutter system, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of short ditches or water channels to the south of Tarr Ball Wood, Luccombe parish.
More information : A possible simple water meadow of a type known locally as a catchwork or field-gutter system, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of short ditches or water channels to the south of Tarr Ball Wood, Luccombe parish, centred on circa SS 86954455.
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 is a common feature of Exmoor systems.
The possible system recorded here was most likely fed from a spring immediately to the east. However, the gutters are so short that it is possible that the earthworks are in fact sections of footpath eroded into the combe slope. (1-2)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 106UK/1655 4089-90 (F20) 11-JUL-1946
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Source Number : 2
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Cook. H. & Williamson, T. (2007) Introducing Water Meadows, in Water Meadows; History, Ecology and Conservation, eds. Cook. H. & Williamson, T.
Page(s) : 28-29
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Water Meadow, Trackway
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 84 SE 174
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1473569
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