MMO2997 - Possible post-medieval water meadow southwest of Marley's Cottage (Monument)


A series of channels visible as earthworks on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards are probably the remains of a water meadow of post-medieval date.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Earthwork channels visible on aerial photographs as earthworks to the south of Chibbet Ford are probably the remains of a water meadow of post-medieval date. Centred on circa SS 8350 3745 at the head of a shallow combe above Pennycombe water, it is probably a simple example of a type known as a catch work, ditch gutter or field gutter system, found typically on the combe sides or hill slopes of Exmoor. They were designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream along the slope via a series of roughly parallel channels or gutters, although simple examples consisting of only a single gutter are common. 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. [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) 3317-8 (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 NW. MD002191. [Mapped feature: #43761 ]
  • <4> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1488228, Extant 30 August 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 8349 3740 (334m by 137m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS83NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 NW95
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1488228

Record last edited

Aug 30 2021 9:32PM


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