MMO3214 - Post-medieval water meadow south west of Western Ball (Monument)

Summary

A post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks south west of Western Ball Farm, Twitchen. A series of approximately parallel gutters were used 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. This 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.

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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 south west of Western Ball Farm, Twitchen. Centred at approximately SS 7788 3099, at least eight leats are visible stretching across both sides of a south-east facing valley above an un-named stream or brook. The leats appear to have been fed from the nearby spring. This 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 (1-2).

Sources/Archives (3)

  • --- Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/1420 3281-82 15-APR-1946.
  • --- Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. Cook, H and Williamson, T. 2007 "Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation" Windgather Press,.
  • --- Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 SE. MD002195.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7785 3099 (333m by 317m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS73SE
Civil Parish TWITCHEN, NORTH DEVON, DEVON

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1492762

Record last edited

Jun 21 2018 1:00PM

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