MMO2010 - Post-medieval water meadow south of Whitefield Barton (Monument)

Summary

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

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A post-medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow system, is visible on aerial photographs to the south of West Whitefield, Challacombe. Centred at approximately SS 6776 4163 at least five gutters are visible on a fairly gentle south facing slope above an unnamed tributary of the River Bray. The gutters vary in length from 50 top 220 metres and are between 1 and 3 metres wide. This system appears to have been connected to the farmyard at Whitefield Barton, suggesting that this was an integrated system which also distributed liquid manure as fertiliser across the fields. A similar system is visible on the opposite slope (see MMO2009). Catchwater meadows used a series of approximately parallel gutters were used 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. [1-4] Parts of the post-medieval water meadow described above were mapped as part of an aerial photograph interpretation project in Challacombe environs. [5-6]

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/2082 3100-01 (19 May 1947).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1501 4292-93 (13 May 1946).
  • <3> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <4> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 64 SE. MD002181.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Winton, H.. 1999. RCHME/EH Aerial Photographers Comment. RCHME: Challacombe, West Devon, 20 December 1999.
  • <6>XY Archive: RCHME: Challacombe Project, Devon. AF1301145. [Mapped feature: #33282 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 6769 4166 (274m by 243m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS64SE
Civil Parish CHALLACOMBE, NORTH DEVON, DEVON

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SE75
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1466855

Record last edited

May 20 2019 4:43PM

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