MMO1217 - Post-medieval water meadow south and east of Colton Farm (Monument)


A substantial post-medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks.

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Type and Period (1)

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Full Description

The earthworks of a post-medieval field gutter system are visible on an air photograph. [1] A substantial post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks south and east of Colton Farm, Nettlecombe. Centred at approximately ST 0575 3573, a number of gutters can be seen following the contours of the east and south facing slopes around Colton Farm, covering a total area of some 28 hectares. This system appears to be connected to the farmyard at Colton, suggesting that this was an integrated system which also distributed liquid manure as fertiliser to the fields. 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. 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. [2-3]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • --- Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: ST 03 NE. MD002178.
  • <1> Aerial photograph: Aerial photograph reference number . Air photograph 25/9/1970 NMRC collection 70 387, 538.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 543/2821 (F61) 124-25 27-APR-1964.
  • <3> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.



Grid reference Centred ST 0564 3564 (935m by 647m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet ST03NE

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External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1302022

Record last edited

Mar 7 2013 10:12AM


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