MMO3210 - Post-medieval water meadow northwest of Barkham (Monument)


A substantial catchwater meadow is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks. It appears to be connected to the farmyard at Barkham, suggesting it was an integrated system.

Please read the .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A substantial post-medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks north of Barkham, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7850 3410 a large number of leats are visible stretching across both sides of a north and west facing slope, covering an area of some 10.5 hectares. This system appears to be connected to the farmyard at Barkham, suggesting that this was an integrated system which also distributed liquid manure as fertiliser to the fields. 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 124-25 (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: #42285 ]
  • <4> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1492750, Extant 29 September 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 7850 3398 (661m by 515m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS73SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 SE69
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1492750

Record last edited

Sep 29 2021 11:45AM


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