MMO2453 - Post-medieval catchwork water meadow northwest of Combe Farm (Monument)

Summary

A post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A post-medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks north west of Combe Farm, Withycombe. Centred at ST 0069 4069, approximately six gutters or leats are visible on either side of a northeast facing valley above an un-named stream. The area is now covered by a fir tree plantation. 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. 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. 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. [1,2]

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980 3252-53 (11 April 1947).
  • <2> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-29.
  • <3>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: ST 04 SW. MD002176. [Mapped feature: #32391 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred ST 0069 4070 (186m by 184m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet ST04SW
Civil Parish WITHYCOMBE, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: ST 04 SW193
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1477779

Record last edited

Mar 3 2020 3:08PM

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