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 1488148

Hob Uid: 1488148
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exford
Grid Ref : SS8456039650
Summary : A water-meadow of probable post-medieval date, of a type known as a catch-work, ditch-gutter or field-gutter system, is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks to the south-west of Higher Barn, Exford parish. Catch-work water-meadows are typical of Exmoor and are usually found on combe or hill slopes. They 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 March to April.
More information : A water-meadow of probable post-medieval date, of a type known as a catch-work, ditch-gutter or field-gutter system is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks to the south-west of Higher Barn, Exford parish, with which it is probably associated.
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 centred on circa SS 84563965 and is visible as 3 gutters that probably tapped a spring-fed stream at their northern ends. It is possible that further gutters are be present but not visible on the available aerial photographs. (1-4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3281-2 11-APR-1947
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF 543/2821 (F63) 0159-160 27-APR-1963
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
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
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-Sep
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 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 NW 84
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