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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1485116

Hob Uid: 1485116
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Cutcombe
Grid Ref : SS8757038740
Summary : A water-meadow of probable 19th century date, of a type known as a catch-work or field gutter system, is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks associated with Larcombe Farm. Such water-meadows are typically 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 from gutter to gutter, 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 water-meadow is visible covering an area of circa 3 hectares to the north-west and south of the farm, along the south-facing slopes above Larcombe Brook.
More information : A water-meadow of probable 19th century date, of a type known as a catch-work or field gutter system, is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks associated with Larcombe Farm, centred on circa SS 87573874.
Such water-meadows are typically 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 from gutter to gutter, 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 system consists of 6 gutters on the south-facing slopes above Larcombe Brook, covering an area of circa 3 hectares to the north-west and south of the farm. (1-4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3275-6 11-APR-1947
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/73109 1065-6 29-AP-1973
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Source Number : 3
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Taylor, C. (2007) The Archaeology of Water Meadows, in Water Meadows; History, Ecology and Conservation, eds. Cook. H. & Williamson, T.
Page(s) : 1,4
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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-Sep
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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 83 NE 125
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