MMO2118 - Post-medieval water meadow east of Sunnyside (Monument)


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

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Type and Period (1)

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Full Description

A probable post-medieval leat or water channel is visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork in a field to the east of Sunnyside, Parracombe. The leat, which is centred at approximately SS 6729 4474 on a fairly gentle west facing slope above an unnamed stream or combe, measures approximately 137 metres long and less than 1 metre wide. It is similar in form and construction to the gutters in the water meadow system located approximtely 80 metre to the east (see MMO2111). Together with the form and position of the leat, this suggests 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]

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980 4090-91 11-APR-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: #33258 ]



Grid reference Centred SS 6730 4473 (36m by 142m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS64SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 64 SE129
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1468918

Record last edited

May 8 2019 12:45PM


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