MMO2693 - 19th Century water meadow south of Manor Farm (Monument)


A water meadow of probable 19th century date is visible on aerial photographs to the south of Manor Farm, Wootton Courtenay, with which it may have been associated.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

water meadow of probable 19th Century date is visible on aerial photographs to the south of Manor Farm, Wootton Courtenay, at circa SS 9391 4331. As the largest farm in this area in the 19th Century, it is probable the water meadow was associated with Manor Farm. This is a type of water meadow known as catchwork or field gutter system, commonly found on combe or hill slopes and designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream. The water is carried along the valley sides via one or more channels or gutters and when irrigation was required the gutters were blocked, causing water to overflow from gutter to gutter, thereby irrigating the slopes. This film of water prevented the ground freezing during the winter and raised the temperature of the grass in the spring, thereby encouraging early growth, particularly important during the hungry gap of March and April. A short length of one of the parallel gutters is marked on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1889, probably indicating the spring head source of the system. [1-4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 58/2665 (F21) 0076-7 (8 January 1959).
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1889.
  • <3> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 94 SW. MD002186. [Mapped feature: #32450 ]



Grid reference Centred SS 9400 4331 (311m by 120m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS94SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SW156
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1482636

Record last edited

Aug 17 2020 4:45PM


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