MMO2351 - Post-medieval catchwater meadow, south of Limecombe Cottage (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 south of Limecombe Cottage, 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. 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.

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Type and Period (2)

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 in fields south of Limecombe Cottage, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7649 4009, a pair of parallel guttersare visible on the steep west facing slope above Lime Combe. The gutters vary in length from 140 metres to 300 metres in length, but both are between 1 and 3 metres wide. Catchwater meadows used a series of approximately parallel gutters 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 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. The system most likely dates to the mid 19th century and is related to the land improvement activities by the Knight Family in this area (1-2).

Sources/Archives (3)

  • --- Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980 4152-53 11-APR-1947.
  • --- Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. Cook, H. and Williamson, T. 2007 "Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation" Windgather Press.
  • --- Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 74 SE. MD002183.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7653 4010 (164m by 271m) (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): 1475817

Record last edited

Mar 26 2018 10:38AM

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