MMO3169 - 19th Century water meadow south of North Batsom Farm (Monument)


A small spring fed water meadow of probable 19th century date is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A small water meadow of probable 19th Century date is visible on aerial photographs of the 1950s as earthworks to the south of North Batsom Farm, centred on circa SS 8483 3406. Such water meadows, known as catchwork or field gutter systems, are usually found on combe or hill slopes and are 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 water meadow is a relatively simple example of its type, with four gutters arrayed on either side of the spring fed stream that probably supplied it with water. The system can only be seen on aerial photographs of 1952 and is not clearly visible on the images available on Google Earth at the time of Survey, possibly indicating it has now been levelled. [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. Oblique Aerial Photograph. NMR RAF 540/848 (PFFO) 0314-6 (25 August 1952).
  • <2> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <3> Website: Various. Google Earth. Accessed 18 October 2006.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 83 SW. MD002197. [Mapped feature: #32684 ]
  • <5> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1491907, Extant 27 April 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 8484 3405 (136m by 103m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS83SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 83 SW91
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1491907

Record last edited

May 5 2021 4:27PM


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