MMO1875 - Post-medieval water meadow west of Rowley Barton Farm (Monument)

Summary

A post-medieval water meadow, known locally as a catchwater meadow system, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks. This system appears to have been an integrated system connected to the farmyard at Rowley Barton.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A post-medieval water meadow, known locally as a catchwater meadow system, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks to the west of Rowley Barton Farm, Parracombe. Centred at approximately SS 6493 4405, 10 gutters are visible on a gentle northwest facing slope above Rowley Cleave. These gutters vary in length from 20 to 265 metres long, and are between 1 and 2.5 metres wide. This system appears to have been connected to the farmyard at Rowley Barton, suggesting that this was an integrated system which also distributed liquid manure as fertiliser to the fields. In several places the gutters are overlain by later post-medieval field boundaries, depicted on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map suggesting that this particular system may date to early in the post-medieval period or possibly even the medieval period. Catchwater systems 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 systems are believed to date to the post medieval era, although it is possible that they were first developed in the medieval period. The evidence at this site would seem to support this theory. [1-4] The relationship between the features recorded in this record and MDE11452 is not clear. [5] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [6]

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. OS 73087 657-58 (17 April 1973).
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.
  • <3> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 64 SW. MD002180. [Mapped feature: #33246 ]
  • <5> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 30 April 2019.
  • <6> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1464820, Extant 10 November 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 6505 4395 (355m by 360m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS64SE
Civil Parish PARRACOMBE, NORTH DEVON, DEVON

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SW45
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1464820

Record last edited

Nov 10 2021 4:05PM

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