MMO2104 - Post-medieval water meadow south of Pencombe Rocks (Monument)

Summary

A post-medieval water meadow system is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks. This system does not appear to be connected to any local farmyards, suggesting that this was a detached system.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

An extensive post-medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks in fields to the south of Pencombe Rocks, Parracombe. Centred at approximately SS 6624 4443 up to twelve gutters are visible on a fairly gentle south facing slope above a tributary of the River Heddon. The gutters extend over an area of approximately 9 hectares, and measure up to 200 metres long. In places they are overlain by post-medieval field boundaries depicted on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map, suggesting this system had been abandoned prior to publication in 1889 [2]. This system does not appear to be connected to any local farmyards, suggesting that this was a detached system which only distributed water to the fields and not liquid manure or other fertilisers. Catchwater meadows used a series of approximately parallel gutters were 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]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 543/2821 (F66) 186-87 (27 April 1964).
  • <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 SE. MD002181. [Mapped feature: #33269 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 6628 4444 (413m by 524m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS64SE
Civil Parish PARRACOMBE, NORTH DEVON, DEVON

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SE116
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1468846

Record last edited

May 8 2019 3:37PM

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