MMO2572 - Post-medieval water meadow north and west of South Cleeve Grove (Monument)


A post-medieval water meadow system is visible on aerial photographs from 1964 as a series of earthworks. It may have been related to the abandoned Combe Farm.

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Type and Period (1)

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Full Description

A post-medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks to the north and west of South Cleeve Grove, Timberscombe. Centred at SS 9598 4020 four gutters are visible following the contours of a steep west facing slope above an unnamed stream. The gutters vary in length from 100 to 250 metres, with the longest possibly representing the main "carriage" gutter which supplied water to the system. 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 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] Note the location of the site of Combe Farm (MSO8339) to the west of this catch water meadow system, at the head of the stream. It seems likely that the two were related. [4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 543/2821 (F63) 141-42 (27 April 1964).
  • <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: #32528 ]
  • <4> Verbal communication: Various. 1999-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Shirley Blaylock, 16 September 2013.



Grid reference Centred SS 9585 4014 (400m by 332m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS94SE

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Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

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External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SE152
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1479194

Record last edited

Jan 22 2020 3:06PM


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