MMO3164 - Post-medieval leat and water meadow at Cloggs Farm (Monument)


A leat fed water from a nearby stream to power a water wheel in the bank barn at Cloggs Farm, before collecting manure from the farmyard and running into a field gutter irrigation system.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

A water meadow of probable 19th Century date is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks on the southwest facing combe-slopes below Cloggs Farm, Withypool and Hawkridge, centred at circa SS 8395 3097. This is a type of water meadow known as catchwork or field-gutter system, commonly found on combe or hill slopes and designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream. The water is carried along the valley sides via one or more channels or gutters and 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 March and April. The system probably tapped a tributary of Danes Brook to the east of the farm for the majority of its water supply, although a leat or carriage-gutter to the east may have supplied the more westerly gutters. The gutters remain visible on aerial photographs taken in 2004, although they appear unused and in need of maintenance. [1-5] Cloggs Farm has a series of leats that form a field gutter irrigation system, taking water from a neighbouring stream for distribution across the meadow to the south of the farmyard. One of the leats was built to supply water to the water wheel that provided power for use in the bank barn. The leat that supplied water to the wheel continues to flow to the barn, but the water is channelled beneath the former water wheel pit and round the eastern end of the barn. From that point it is channelled beneath the main area of the fold yard and then reappears in order to collect manure before leading out into a field gutter system. [6] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1420 (F20) 3289-90 (15 April 1946).
  • <2> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS/8330/32 (23426/10) (1 March 2004).
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR SS/8431/1 (23425/10) (1 March 2004).
  • <4> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <5> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 SW. MD002197.
  • <6> Report: Jones, B.V.. 2000. Historic Buildings Report: Cloggs Farm, Withypool and Hawkridge, Somerset. English Heritage. 2, 4, plate 2.
  • <7> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1491856, Extant 2 February 2022.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 SW86
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1491856



Grid reference Centred SS 8384 3114 (497m by 468m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS83SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Feb 2 2022 4:21PM


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