MMO2003 - Post-medieval water meadow east of Challacombe Mill (Monument)

Summary

A post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow system, is visible on aerial photographs. It appears to have been connnected to a ruined building and small enclosure and may have been an integrated system.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

A post-medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow system, is visible on aerial photographs to the east of Challacombe Mill. Centred at approximately SS 6837 4040, up to ten gutters are visible on both sides of a fairly steep south facing above an un-named stream or combe. The gutters vary in length from 90 to 146 metres, and are between 1 and 3 metres wide. This system appears to have been connnected to a ruined building and small enclosure at SS 6838 4048, and may have been an integrated system, which also distributed liquid manure as fertiliser across 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. One of the gutters at SS 6828 4037 has been recorded on the Devonshire Historic Environment Record as a leat associated with the nearby Challacombe Mill. From the aerial photographs the gutter is clearly part of the water meadow system, but it may also have been related to the Mill. [1-3] Parts of the post-medieval water meadow described above were mapped as part of an aerial photographic interpretation project in Challacombe environs. Some additional gutters were transcribed. [4,5] It is not clear why [3] refers to the leat for Challacombe Mill being sited within the mapped area of this record as the route of the leat is clearly sited to the south of the recorded features - see MDE21215. [6] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73109 1001 (29 April 1973).
  • <2> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. p 1-7, 28-29.
  • <3> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 64 SE. MD002181.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Winton, H.. 1999. RCHME/EH Aerial Photographers Comment. RCHME: Challacombe, West Devon, 20 December 1999/.
  • <5> Archive: Winton, H.. 1999. RCHME: Challacombe Project, Devon. AF1301145.
  • <6> Verbal communication: Various. 1993-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 6 January 2017.
  • <7> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1466829, Extant 10 November 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 6831 4039 (355m by 207m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS64SE
Civil Parish CHALLACOMBE, NORTH DEVON, DEVON

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 32591
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SE70
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1466829

Record last edited

Nov 10 2021 4:10PM

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