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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 975040

Hob Uid: 975040
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exmoor
Grid Ref : SS8120742792
Summary : Two water channels of a type known as a contour leat or gutter are visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork on the south facing slopes of Long Combe, roughly 250 metres to the south of Tom's Farm. The eastern gutter tapped Long Combe in the Larkbarrow estate to the east, where it formed part of an extensive water meadow system. With a second gutter to the west, these channels probably acted as a simple catchwork or field-gutter water meadow.
More information : For details see county SMR. (1)

A water channel of a type known as a contour leat or gutter is visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork on the south facing slopes of Long Combe, roughly 250 metres to the south of Tom¿s Farm centred on circa SS 81324272. The gutter tapped Long Combe in the Larkbarrow estate to the east, where it formed part of an extensive water meadow system to the south of Larkbarrow Farm, before roughly following the 360 metre OD contour for over 500 metres, terminating at a spring fed stream at circa SS 81204291. Fed from a point approximately 30 metres to the north-east on from this same stream, a second gutter circa 450 metres long continues eastwards along the 360 metre OD contour, terminating at a field boundary to the west at circa SS 80824297.
The leat probably functioned as a simple catchwork or field-gutter system. Such catchwork systems are usually found on steep combe sides and are designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream along the valley sides via one or more 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 March and April. (2-3)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Somerset C.C. SMR 29-SEP-1986
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 106G/UK/1501 (F20) 3192-3 13-MAY-1946
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Source Number : 3
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 : Leat, Water Channel, Water Meadow
Evidence : Uncertain Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MSO7048
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 33146
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 84 SW 97
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 975038
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 974864
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 975035
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478430
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1478445
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, NAR/SMR DATA EXCHANGE PILOT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1986-01-01
End Date : 1986-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01