MMO2708 - 19th Century water meadow east of Tivington Knowle (Monument)


The remains of a water meadow of probable 19th century date are visible on aerial photographs.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

The remains of a water meadow of probable 19th Century date are visible on aerial photographs to the east of Tivington Knowle, centred at circa SS 9299 4462. 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. It is unclear, from the aerial photographic evidence alone, with which farm the water meadow was associated, and may therefore be what has been called a detached system. It was probably supplied with water by a spring, approximately 300 metres upslope to the northeast. At best the gutters are only fragmentarily visible on the aerial photographs available to the survey, but it is likely the covered the entire field, an area of over 2 hectares. However, the gutters may now be in poor condition as the field has probably been ploughed. [1-4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 58/5159 (F21) 180-1 (4 June 1962).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/79013 249-50 (17 April 1979).
  • <3> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1, 28-9.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 94 SW. MD002186. [Mapped feature: #32439 ]



Grid reference Centred SS 9302 4464 (279m by 172m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS94SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SW171
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1482815

Record last edited

Mar 17 2020 4:14PM


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