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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1479132

Hob Uid: 1479132
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Carhampton
Grid Ref : SS9870741412
Summary : A post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks in fields north of the deserted settlement of Longcombe Farm (see NMR UID 1155086). A series of approximately parallel gutters were used to distribute flowing water evenly over the surface of the meadow in order to prevent freezing in winter and encourage early growth in spring, thereby providing extra feed for livestock. This system may have been connected to the farmyard at Longcombe, and therefore may hae been an integrated system which also distributed liquid manure as fertiliser to the fields.
More information : A post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks in fields north of the deserted settlement of Longcombe Farm (see NMR UID 1155086). Centred at approximately SS 9869 4142, up to four gutters are visible on a steep north-east facing slope above an un-named stream. The gutters appear to follow the contours of the slope fairly closely, and vary in length from 130 to 280 metres. This system may have been connected to the farmyard at Longcombe, and therefore may have been an integrated system which also distributed liquid manure as fertiliser to the fields.
Catchwater meadows used a series of approximately parallel gutters to distribute flowing water evenly over the surface of the meadow in order to prevent freezing in winter and encourage early growth in spring, thereby providing extra feed for livestock. Most catchwater meadows are believed to date to the post medieval period, although it is possible that they were first developed in the medieval period. It seems likely that this system was abandoned around the same time as Longcombe Farm, some time after 1889 (1-3).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 543/2821 (F64) 137-38 27-APR-1964
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Source Number : 2
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Cook, H. and Williamson, T. 2007 "Water Meadows; History, Ecology and Conservation" Windgather Press, Cambridge page(s) 1-7, 28-29
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Source Number : 3
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:2500 1889
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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 94 SE 145
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1155086
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