MMO2111 - Post-medieval water meadow south of Lorna Doone Farm (Monument)


A post-medieval water meadow system is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks. It appears to have been a detached system, not connected to any nearby farmyards.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A 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 Lorna Doone Farm, Parracombe. Centred at approximately SS 6742 4467 four gutters are visible located on a fairly gentle west facing slope above an unnamed stream or combe. They vary in length from 85 to 130 metres long and in width from less than 1 metre to 1.5 metres. 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 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. [1-3] 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 4090-91 (11 April 1947).
  • <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 SE. MD002181. [Mapped feature: #33263 ]
  • <4> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1468881, Extant 15 November 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 6743 4468 (130m by 101m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS64SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SE123
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1468881

Record last edited

Nov 15 2021 10:31AM


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