MMO2716 - Post-medieval water meadow south of Rockley Farm (Monument)

Summary

A post-medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks. This appears to an integrated system with the farmyard at Rockley Farm.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

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 Rockley Farm, Brayford. Centred at approximately SS 7045 3808, six gutters are visible stretching across a fairly steep south facing slope above an unnamed stream. The gutters closely follow the contours of the slope, and are apparently fed from a spring and stream north of Rockley Farm. The gutters stretch across at least three fields, covering a total area of approximately 8 hectares. Several similar water meadow systems can be seen in surrounding areas, presumably belonging to neighbouring farms. This system appears to be connected to the farmyard at Rockley Farm, suggesting that this was an integrated system which also distributed liquid manure as fertiliser to the fields. 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]

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1501 4043-45 (13 May 1946).
  • <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 73 NW. MD002189. [Mapped feature: #42036 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7047 3808 (351m by 364m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS73NW
Civil Parish BRAYFORD, NORTH DEVON, DEVON

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NW56
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1484071

Record last edited

Sep 2 2020 4:08PM

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