MMO3209 - Post-medieval water meadow north and west of Shortacombe (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 appears to have been a detached system.

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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 north and west of the deserted settlement of Shortacombe, North Molton. Centred at approximately SS 7662 3433, at least six leats are visible on both sides of a south facing valley above a tributary of the River Mole. The leats cover a total area of some 10.5 hectares, however the 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. 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 catchwater meadows are believed to date to the post-medieval period, although it is possible that they were first developed in the medieval period. [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 OS/96559 128-29 (7 May 1996).
  • <2> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <3>XY Archive: English Heritage. 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 SE. MD002195. [Mapped feature: #33143 ]
  • <4> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1492748, Extant 29 September 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7658 3436 (445m by 528m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS73SE
Civil Parish NORTH MOLTON, NORTH DEVON, DEVON

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 SE68
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1492748

Record last edited

Sep 29 2021 11:50AM

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