MMO3263 - Probable post-medieval water meadow east of Yarde Wood (Monument)

Summary

A post-medieval water meadow is visible on aerial photographs as earthworks on both sides of the slope above Span Bottom. This system does not appear to be connected to any local farmyards, suggesting that this was a detached system.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Several post medieval leats are visible on aerial photographs as earthworks east of Yard Wood, North Molton. The leats, which are visible on both sides of the slope above Span Bottom, may be the remains of a post-medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow. At least four are visible, all running north to south and covering an area of approximately 4.8 hectares. They appear to have been fed with water from Span Bottom and may have supplied other catchworks in the area (see MMO326). 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. [1-3]

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. NMR OS/96559 133-34 (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: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 73 SW. MD002194. [Mapped feature: #33128 ]

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7289 3442 (226m by 465m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS73SW
Civil Parish NORTH MOLTON, NORTH DEVON, DEVON

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 SW35
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1493551

Record last edited

Apr 16 2019 10:47AM

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