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 1473591

Hob Uid: 1473591
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Cutcombe
Grid Ref : SS8778940142
Summary : A leat or water channel of probable post medieval date is visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork on the south facing slopes of Codsend Moors, running above the River Quarme, from which it is probably fed. It is possibly of a type known as a head main, which may have supplied the now deserted post-medieval farmstead of Bankdown with water. It may also have had a dual function, acting as a simple catch water system water meadow when required.
More information : A leat or water channel is visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork, centred on circa SS 87884012 on the south facing slopes of Codsend Moors, running above the River Quarme, from which it is fed at circa SS 874400. It is probably of a post medieval type known as a head main, the function of which primarily seems to have been to supply the settlements on the fringes of the moor with fresh water from the upland springs. Several extensive head mains have been recorded on Exmoor, the longest examples reaching several kilometres in length. This earthwork is just 600 metres in length and may have supplied the now deserted Farmstead of Bankdown with water.
However, head mains may also have had a dual function, acting as a simple catch water systems when required. Usually found on combe sides or hill slopes, catchwater water meadows are designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream along the slope via one or more channels or gutters. When irrigation was required the channels 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.
This channel is not marked on the First Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1889 but has been noted to cut boundaries of possible medieval or post-medieval date and is therefore probably itself post-medieval in date. (1-4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3275-6 11-APR-1947
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/73109 963-5 29-APR-1973
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:2500, 1889
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
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
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 Channel, Leat, Earthwork
Evidence :

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 84 SE 178
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 36178
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 36137
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