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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1493794

Hob Uid: 1493794
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Dulverton
Grid Ref : SS8862029120
Summary : A water-meadow of probable 19th century date is visible on aerial photographs as faint earthworks directly to the south-east of Hinam Farm, Dulverton parish. This is a simple form of a type of water-meadow known as a catchwork, catch-meadow or field-gutter system. Such water-meadows 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.
More information : A small water-meadow of probable 19th century date is visible on aerial photographs as faint earthworks centred at circa SS 88622912, directly to the south-east of Hinam Farm.
This is a type of water-meadow known as catchwork, catch-meadow or field-gutter system, commonly found on combe or hill slopes and designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream. The water is carried along the valley sides via one or more channels or gutters and 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 and April.
The water-meadow is comprised of just 2 gutters up to 120 metres long, one on either side of the spring-fed stream from which it is probably fed. The spring rises approximately 100 metres to the south of the farm. The earthworks are subtle and visible on limited numbers of sorties. However, they remain visible on aerial photographs of 1995. (1-4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF 540/890 3308-9 03-OCT-1952
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/95024 026-7 12-MAR-1995
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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
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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) : 28-29
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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
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 82 NE 70
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