MMO2838 - Post-medieval water meadow southwest of West Nethercote (Monument)


A possible simple water meadow of a type known as catchwork or field gutter system is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks. It may be what is known as a detached system.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A possible water meadow is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks to the southwest of West Nethercote, centred approximately on SS 8691 3609. It is a type known as catchwork or field gutter system. It is unclear with which farmstead this system was associated and it may therefore be what is known as a detached system. Such water meadows are typically found on combe or hill slopes and are designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream along the slope via a series of roughly parallel channels or gutters. 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 the March and April. The southernmost of the two transcribed gutters may be depicted on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map, and therefore predates 1889. [1-4] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 4352-3 (11 April 1947).
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890.
  • <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 83 NE. MD002192. [Mapped feature: #32813 ]
  • <5> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1485032, Extant 22 September 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 8691 3609 (65m by 98m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS83NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 NE115
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1485032

Record last edited

Sep 22 2021 2:04PM


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