MMO2072 - Possible post-medieval water meadow south of Higher Week Farm (Monument)


A probable post medieval ditch or leat is visible on aerial photographs most likely represents the remains of a catchwater meadow system. This ditch may have formed part of an integrated system with the farmyard at Higher Week.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A probable post-medieval ditch or leat is visible on aerial photographs in a field to the south of Higher Week farm, Kentisbury. Centred at approximately SS 6296 4307 the leat runs northwest to southeast following the contours of a fairly steep southwest facing slope. The gutter measures approximately 95 metres long and up to 1.5 metres wide. It most likely represents the remains of a water meadow, known locally as a catchwater meadow system. 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. This ditch appears to have been connected to the farmyard at Higher Week, suggesting that this was an integrated system, which also distributed liquid manure as fertiliser to the field. Several other ditches in the vicinity may be part of the same system. [1-3] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980 3100-01 (11 April 1980).
  • <2> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <3>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 64 SW. MD002180. [Mapped feature: #42050 ]
  • <4> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1468242, Extant 15 November 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 6297 4306 (66m by 91m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS64SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SW89
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1468242

Record last edited

Nov 15 2021 10:28PM


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