MMO2892 - Post-medieval water meadow south of Honeymead Farm (Monument)

Summary

A post-medieval water meadow, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks. This system is believed to have been created by the Knight family, dating to the 1850s.

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Type and Period (2)

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 lying due south of Honeymead Farm, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7958 3890, a large number of narrow gutters can be seen following the contours of the south and southeast facing slopes above an unnamed tributary of White Water. A large leat at the eastern edge of the system seems to connect the system with the farmyard at Honeymead, 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. Many of the mid 19th Century farms on Exmoor built by the the Knight family have extensive and complex water meadow systems, and they are believed to date to the 1850s, after Robert Smith, an expert in water meadows, took up his post as Agent for the family. [1-5]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/96507 35-36 (30 March 1996).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/73087 612-13 (17 April 1973).
  • <3> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <4> Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition. 55-56.
  • <5> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NE. MD002190.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7970 3884 (475m by 609m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS73NE
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NE95
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1486609

Record last edited

Jul 11 2018 9:51AM

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