MMO2567 - Post-medieval water meadow south of Cowbridge Cross (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 at Cowbridge was noted on aerial photographs. [1] A post-medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks in a field south of Cowbridge Cross, Wootton Courtenay. Centred at approximately SS 9568 4288, three gutters are visible on a very gentle southeast facing slope above the River Avill. 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 field is now a cricket pitch and any traces of the water meadow have been destroyed. 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. 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. [2-5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Report: Francis, P.T.H.. 1984. A Survey and Description of the "Catch Meadow" Irrigation Systems Found in the Exmoor Region of West Somerset.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 58/2665 (F22) 0075-76 (8 January 1959).
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. LHL CPE.UK.1980 3197 (April 1947).
  • <4> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <5>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 94 SE. MD002187. [Mapped feature: #32531 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 9569 4289 (151m by 87m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS94SE
Civil Parish WOOTTON COURTENAY, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11943
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO8334
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SE147
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SE75
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1119596
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1479147
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34524

Record last edited

Jan 22 2020 3:10PM

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