MMO2893 - Post-medieval water meadow southeast of Horsen 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. It is possible that this system is part of the main water meadow at Horsen (see MSO6929).

Please read the .

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 southeast of Horsen Farm, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7923 3630, the gutters follow the contours of the north facing slope above an unnamed tributary of White Water, covering an area of approximately 11 hectares. This system does not appear to be connected to any local farmyards, suggesting that this was a detached system which only distributed water to the fields and not liquid manure or other fertilisers. It is possible that this system is part of the main water meadow at Horsen (see MSO6929) which lies on the opposite slope, but they do not appear to be directly connected. 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 of the Exmoor improvement farms constructed in the mid 19th Century have some form of water meadow system; the land agent employed by the family, Robert Smith, was considered an expert in water meadows, and constructed a great number of them within the former Royal Forest. [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 OS/73086 819-20 (17 April 1973).
  • <2> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <3> Monograph: Orwin, C.S.. 1929. The Reclamation of Exmoor Forest. Oxford University Press. 1st Edition.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 NE. MD002190. [Mapped feature: #43390 ]
  • <5> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1486610, Extant 22 November 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7907 3634 (823m by 344m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS73NE
Civil Parish EXMOOR, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 NE96
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1486610

Record last edited

Nov 22 2021 8:53PM

Feedback?

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