MMO2342 - (Monument)

Summary

A post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks in fields west of Ashcombe Bottom, Exmoor. A series of approximately parallel gutters were used 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.

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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 on the western slopes above Ashcombe Bottom, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7730 4004, four gutters are visible, covering an area of approximately 0.8 hectares. The gutters appear to drain into Ashcombe Bottom, but there is no indication of how they were supplied with water. 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 were used 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. This water meadow most likely dates to the mid-19th century and was part of the Knight family agricultural improvements in the area. A land agent employed by the Knight family from 1848 onwards was considered an expert in irrigation and catch water meadows (1-3).

Sources/Archives (4)

  • --- Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/96507 031-21 30-MAR-1996.
  • --- Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. Orwin, C.S. 1929 "The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest" London, Oxford University Press page(s) 55, 77.
  • --- Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. Cook, H. and Williamson, T. 2007 "Water Meadows; History, Ecology and Conservation" Cheshire, Windga.
  • --- Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SE. MD002183.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7729 4000 (124m by 186m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS74SE
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1475759

Record last edited

Mar 26 2018 10:34AM

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