MMO3592 - Post-medieval water meadow east of Birchanger Farm (Monument)

Summary

A post-medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks.

Please read the .

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 Birchanger Farm, Monksilver. Centred at approximately ST 0655 3732, four gutters are visible following the contours of a north facing slope above an un-named stream, and extending across an area of some 2.3 hectares. This system appears to be connected to the farmyard at Birchanger, 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. [1,2]

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF CPE/UK/1944 2135-36 23-JAN-1947.
  • <2> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <3> Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: ST 03 NE. MD002178.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred ST 0655 3730 (193m by 229m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet ST03NE
Civil Parish MONKSILVER, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: ST 03 NE101
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1497687

Record last edited

Apr 2 2013 1:58PM

Feedback?

Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.