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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1477525

Hob Uid: 1477525
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exford
Grid Ref : SS8441041090
Summary : A water meadow of a type known as a catchwork or field-gutter system is visible on aerial photographs as two parallel water channels or gutters to the south of Greenlands Farm, Exford parish. Field gutter systems are usually found on combe 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. Such irrigation systems were frequently created in the mid-nineteenth century as part of extensive programmes of agricultural improvements, and this example is probably associated with the enclosure of Greenlands Farm.
More information : A water meadow of a type known as a catchwork or field-gutter system is visible on aerial photographs as two parallel water channels or gutters to the south of Greenlands Farm, Exford parish, centred on circa SS 84414109. Field gutter systems are usually found on combe 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.
The gutters at Greenlands can be seen to follow the 390 and 380 metre aOD contours for approximately 140 metres around Greenland Water head, and may have been fed from Greenland Water itself.
Such irrigation systems were frequently created as part of the nineteenth century enthusiasm for agricultural improvement and this example is probably associated with the enclosure of Greenlands Farm. (1-2)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 543/2821 (F64) 0159-160 27-APR-1964
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/73109 971-2 29-APR-1973
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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
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 84 SW 204
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
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