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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1486606

Hob Uid: 1486606
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exmoor
Grid Ref : SS7778539830
Summary : A possible post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks in a field north-east of Sminsbath, Exmoor. 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 does not appear to be connected to any local farmyards, suggesting that this was a detached system which only distributed water to the fields and not liquid manure or other fertilisers. In addition, the gutters are located close to several large areas of post medieval drainage, and may be related to this activity.
More information : A possible post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks in a field north-east of Simonsbath, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7780 3986, three gutters are visible following the contours of a south-west facing slope above Ashcombe Bottom. The gutters vary in length from 100 to 230 metres, and extend across an area of approximately 4 hectares. This system does not appear to be connected to any local farmyards, suggesting that this was a detached system which only distributed water to the fields and not liquid manure or other fertilisers.
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. However, since this system is located close to several large areas of post medieval drainage, it may in fact be related to this activity (1-2).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF CPE/UK/1980 4154-55 11-APR-1947
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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, Cheshire page(s) 1-7, 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, Leat
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 73 NE 92
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