MMO2113 - Post-medieval water meadow southeast of Holwell Castle (Monument)


A post-medieval water meadow is visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A probable post-medieval leat or water channel is visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork in a field to the south of Holwell Castle, Parracombe. Centred at approximately SS 6705 4451 the leat curves east to west, following the contours of the north facing slope. It measures approximately 100 metres long, and 1.5 metres wide. The form and position of the leat suggest it may represent the remains of a water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, which used a series of approximately parallel gutters located on a slope to distribute flowing water evenly over the surface of the meadow. This prevented freezing in winter and encouraged 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] More elements of the post-medieval water meadow described above were recorded during an RCHME air photo interpretation and mapping project onthe area around Parracombe. Two additional gutters are visible downslope from the leat described above. They are centred at SS 6705 4454 and SS 6706 4456. [4,5] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [6]

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <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> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 64 SE. MD002181.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Winton, H.. 1999. RCHME/EH Aerial Photographers Comment. RCHME: Parracombe, West Devon, 20 December 1999.
  • <5>XY Archive: Winton, H.. 1999. RCHME: Parracombe Project, Devon. AF1301153. [Mapped feature: #33261 ]
  • <6> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1468904, Extant 15 November 2021.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SE125
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1468904



Grid reference Centred SS 6706 4453 (109m by 155m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS64SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Nov 15 2021 10:38AM


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