MMO2876 - 19th Century water meadow southwest of Ludslade (Monument)


A simple water meadow of probable 19th Century date is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks. It is visible as only two gutters to the southwest of the farm, cut into the west facing slopes above Edgcott Water.

Please read the .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A simple water meadow of probable 19th Century date, of a type known as a catchwork or field gutter system, is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks to the south of the former farmstead of Ludslade, centred on circa SS 8509 3954. 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 water meadow is relatively simple, consisting of only two gutters, visible as earthworks cut into the west facing slopes above Edgcott Water, which they probably tapped, for approximately 220 metres. It is possible the gutters continue further to the south. [1-3] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF CPE/UK/1980 (F20) 3280 (11 April 1947).
  • <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 83 NE. MD002192. [Mapped feature: #32636 ]
  • <4> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1485345, Extant 21 September 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 8509 3956 (73m by 216m) 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 NE153
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1485345

Record last edited

Sep 21 2021 4:51PM


Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.