MMO2566 - Post-medieval water meadow south of Huntsham Cott (Monument)

Summary

The remains of 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

The remains of 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 Huntsham Cott, Wootton Courtenay. Centred at approximately SS 9515 4277 a number of very shallow, possibly ploughed out gutters are visible on a gentle east facing slope, apparently draining into an unnamed tributary of the River Avill. The majority of the gutters follow the contours of the slope, but at the western end of the field two gutters running north to south can be seen. These may have been carriage gutters, supplying water to the system. There is no evidence that this system was 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 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. [1-3]

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/70380 165-66 (23 September 1970).
  • <2> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <3>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 94 SE. MD002187. [Mapped feature: #32532 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 9512 4286 (359m by 333m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS94SE
Civil Parish WOOTTON COURTENAY, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SE146
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1479138

Record last edited

Jan 22 2020 3:23PM

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