MMO3273 - Post-medieval water meadow southwest of Higher Fyldon (Monument)


A post-medieval catchwater meadow is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks covering an area of around 3.5 hectares. They were probably fed from the stream north of Higher Fyldon, suggesting an integrated 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 south of Higher Fyldon, North Molton. Centred at approximately SS 7406 3385, five gutters are visible either side of the small southwest facing valley between Higher and Lower Fyldon. They cover an area of some 3.5 hectares and were probably fed from the stram north of Higher Fyldon. This system appears to be connected to the farmyard at Higher Fyldon, 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 131-32 (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: #42268 ]
  • <4> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1493604, Extant 1 December 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 7403 3381 (242m by 320m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS73SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 SW40
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1493604

Record last edited

Dec 1 2021 3:54PM


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