MMO1803 - Post-medieval water meadow east of Cherryford Lane (Monument)

Summary

A post-medieval catchwater meadow system is visible as a series of earthworks. It does not appear to be connected to any local farmsteads, suggesting that it was a detached system which only distributed water and not liquid manure as fertiliser.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A post-medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow system, is visible as a series of earthworks on a gentle slope to the east of Cherryford Lane, Martinhoe. Centred at SS 6650 4761, three gutters are visible on the north facing slope, varying in length from 75 to 140 metres; none are wider than 1 metre. Catchwater systems used a series of approximately parallel gutters to distribute flowing water evenly over the surface of the meadow in order to encourage early growth in spring and prevent the ground freezing in winter. This system does not appear to be connected to any local farmsteads, suggesting that it was a detached system which only distributed water and not liquid manure as fertiliser. Most catchwater systems are believed to date to the post-medieval period, although it is possible that they were first developed in the medieval period. [1-3] A desk based assessment and site visit in this location recorded a single terrace visible just south of the an access track near to the entrance to the field that probably relates to one of the leats. It was visible for about 45 metres before dissipating or being lost in the overgrowth. It ran parallel with the access track and roughly along the contour of the slope. It is possible the access track runs along the course of a further leat. No leat, however, was seen in the location of a proposed barn. The leat noted on the ground appears to correlate with one of the leats noted during the National Mapping Project work ([3]).[4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/72123 235 (14 May 1972).
  • <2> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <3>XY Archive: Exmoor National Park National Mapping Programme: SS 64 NE. MD002172. [Mapped feature: #35208 ]
  • <4> Report: Bampton, J.. 2014. Land at Cherryford, Martinhoe, Devon: Results of a cartographic desk-based assessment and walkover survey.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 6651 4761 (171m by 77m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS64NE
Civil Parish MARTINHOE, NORTH DEVON, DEVON

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 NE91
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1462739

Record last edited

Sep 30 2020 2:31PM

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