MMO2720 - Post-medieval water meadow west of Muxworthy (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 system appears to be connected to the farmyard at Muxworthy and possibly also some field barns.

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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 west of Muxworthy, Brayford. Centred at approximately SS 7066 3749, five gutters are visible following the contours of a steep west facing slope above an unnamed stream. A second, smaller spring and stream to the south may have provided water to the system. The gutters extend across two fields, covering an area of approximately 4 hectares. This system may have been connected to the farmyard at Muxworthy, suggesting that this was an integrated system which also distributed liquid manure as fertiliser to the fields. Additional water meadows, which may have been constructed around the same time as this system, are visible to the east of Muxworthy and Muxworthy Cottage, 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. [1-4] Part of the water meadow was also transcribed by McDonnell in the 1980s, who also noted the presence of buildings at SS 7063 3746. It is possible these were field barns positioned to allow effluent to be carried away by the water meadow (see MDE20432). [5-7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1980 4440-41 (11 April 1947).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1501 4043-45 (13 May 1946).
  • <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 73 NW. MD002189. [Mapped feature: #33187 ]
  • <5> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. CPE/UK/1980 4440 (April 1947).
  • <6> Unpublished document: McDonnell, R.. 1980. Gazetteer of Sites in the Exmoor National Park Identified through Aerial Photography. SS7037B.
  • <7> Verbal communication: Various. 1999-. Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Team staff comments. Catherine Dove, 19 February 2019.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7067 3760 (297m by 371m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS73NW
Civil Parish BRAYFORD, NORTH DEVON, DEVON

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NW60
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1484128

Record last edited

Sep 2 2020 3:46PM

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