MMO3312 - Post-medieval water meadow west of Heasley Mill (Monument)


A post-medieval water meadow system is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks. This system appears to be ntegrated with Crangs Heasleigh Farm Great Heasley Farm (outside the National Park boundary).

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

A post-medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks in fields south of Great Heasley and Crangs Heasleigh / South Heasley, North Molton. Centred at approximately SS 7329 3227, at least five gutters are visible running east to west across a south facing slope and covering an area of some 4.7 hectares. The system is connected to both farmyards, and apparently fed from two springs at either site, suggesting that this was an integrated system which also distributed liquid manure as fertiliser to the fields. It also indicates some degree of co-operation between the owners or tenants of the two farms was required to operate the system. 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. RAF CPE/UK/1980 3880-81 (11 April 1947).
  • <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: #33122 ]
  • <4> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1493762, Extant 1 December 2021.



Grid reference Centred SS 7335 3229 (643m by 174m) 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 SW57
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1493762

Record last edited

Dec 1 2021 4:30PM


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