MDE20647 - Post-medieval water meadow west of Sunnyside Farm (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
Mill leat running from gristmill shown on Ordnance Survey mapping. [1,2] A probable post-medieval leat or water channel is visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork in a field to the north of Holwell Castle, Parracombe. The leat, which is centred at approximately SS 6693 4479, runs approximately east-west for 115 metres. It closely follows the contours of the north facing slope. The form and position of this leat suggest it may represent the remains of a water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, which used a series of approximately parallel gutters located on a slope to distribute flowing water evenly over the surface of the meadow. This prevented freezing in winter and encouraged early growth in spring, thereby providing extra feed for livestock. Most catchwater meadows are believed to date to the post-medieval period, although it is possible that they were first developed in the medieval period. [3-5] More gutters, probably a continuation of the leat described above, were mapped as part of an air photo interpretation and mapping project looking at Parracombe. They seem to form parts of a water meadow that extended from near Combe Bridge and Sunnyside, at Prisonford, Parracombe. [6,7] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. 
- <1> SEM7603 Map: Ordnance Survey. 1928-1938. 6 Inch Map: 1928-1938, 3rd Edition. 1:10560.
- <2> SEM7608 Map: Ordnance Survey. 1963. 6 Inch Map: 1963.
- <3> SEM6707 Aerial photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946 -1948. Vertical Aerial Photography. RAF CPE/UK/1980 4090-91. 11/04/1947.
- <4> SEM7396 Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition.
- <5> SMO7564 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 64 SE. MD002181.
- <6> SMO7042 Unpublished document: Winton, H.. 1999. RCHME/EH Aerial Photographers Comment. 20 December 1999.
- <7>XY SMO7527 Archive: Winton, H.. 1999. RCHME: Parracombe Project, Devon. AF1301153. [Mapped features: #38868 ; #38869 ]
- <8> SEM7987 Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1468917, Extant 15 November 2021.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 669 447 (411m by 198m) (2 map features)|
|Civil Parish||PARRACOMBE, NORTH DEVON, DEVON|
Related Monuments/Buildings (0)
Related Events/Activities (3)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1468917 (Pastscape entry: 1468917)
- Devon SMR Monument ID: 57019
- Devon SMR: SS64SE/41/2
- Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO2117
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SW115
- NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1468917
Record last edited
Nov 15 2021 10:59AM
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