MMO2343 - 19th Century water meadow above Ashcombe Bottom (Monument)
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Type and Period (1)
- None recorded
A post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks on the eastern slopes above Ashcombe Bottom. Centred at approximately SS 7736 4001, the system consists of three, possibly four gutters, and a feeder leat, or "headmain." This headmain appears to connect with the artificial leats visible to the north (see NMR UID 1475732). 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 particular water meadow most likely dates to the mid 19th century and is part of the Knight family's agricultural improvements in the area. A land agent employed by the family from 1848 onwards was considered a leading expert in water meadows and irrigation. [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. 
- <1> SMO4068 Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/96507 30-31 (30 March 1996).
- <2> SEM7231 Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition. p 55, 77.
- <3> SEM7396 Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. pp 1-7, 28-9.
- <4>XY SMO7566 Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SE. MD002183. [Mapped feature: #32978 ]
- <5> SEM7987 Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1475762, Extant 14 June 2021.
|Grid reference||Centred SS 7746 4007 (263m by 406m) Aerial Survey|
|Civil Parish||EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET|
Related Monuments/Buildings (1)
Related Events/Activities (1)
External Links (1)
- http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1475762 (Pastscape entry: 1475762)
- National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 SE192
- NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1475762
Record last edited
Jun 14 2021 10:41PM
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