MMO2115 - Possible post-medieval water meadow southeast of Lower Holwell (Monument)


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

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Type and Period (2)

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 west of Holwell Castle, Parracombe. The gutter, which is centred at approximately SS 6680 4464 on a fairly steep north facing slope, runs north to south for approximately 82 metres following the contours of the slope closely. 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] 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: #33260 ]
  • <4> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1468913, Extant 15 November 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 6679 4464 (41m by 85m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS64SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SE127
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1468913

Record last edited

Nov 15 2021 10:42AM


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