MMO2126 - Post-medieval water meadow north of Yarbury Combe (Monument)


The remains of 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 post-medieval leat or water channel is visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork in fields to the north of Yarbury Combe, Challacombe. Centred at approximately SS 6974 4151 the leat runs east to west, following the contours of the southwest facing slope above Yarbury Combe. It measures approximately 83 metres long, and cuts through a number of medieval strip lynchets (see MMO3790). The form and position of this leat would seem to suggest it represents the remains of a water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow. These used a series of approximately parallel gutters located on a slope to distribute flowing water evenly over the surface of the meadow, which prevented freezing in winter and encouraged early growth in spring, thereby providing extra feed for livestock. A spring is depicted on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map just to the northwest of the leat at SS 6971 4156 which may have provided water to the system. [1-4] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/2082 3102-03 (19 May 1947).
  • <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: #33254 ]
  • <5> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1468959, Extant 15 November 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 6974 4152 (81m by 44m) 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 SE137
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1468959

Record last edited

Nov 15 2021 3:04PM


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