MMO3317 - Post-medieval water meadow east of Lower North Heasley and Heasley Wood (Monument)

Summary

A post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks. This system does not appear to be connected to any local farmyards, suggesting a detached 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 east of Lower North Heasley and Heasley Wood, North Molton. Centred at approximately SS 7354 3339, three gutters are visible running roughly north-south before curving along the contours of the slope. The gutters cover a total area of some 3.5 hectares, and may be connected with a second water meadow system visible to the north (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] 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 51-52 (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: #33119 ]
  • <4> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1493768, Extant 1 December 2021.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 7354 3342 (289m by 478m) Aerial Survey
Map sheet SS73SW
Civil Parish NORTH MOLTON, NORTH DEVON, DEVON

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 73 SW61
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1493768

Record last edited

Dec 1 2021 4:39PM

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