MMO3594 - Post-medieval water meadow west of Woodford (Monument)


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

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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 west of Woodford, Nettlecombe. Centred at approximately ST 0604 3850, a number of gutters are visible following the contours of the hillside above a pond named Island Pond and a small stream. The gutters cover an area of some 14.9 hectares, and may have been constructed as a landscape feature associated with Nettlecombe Park rather than with any specific agricultural purpose in mind. The 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. RAF CPE/UK/2082 3003-04 (19 May 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.



Grid reference Centred ST 0596 3851 (538m by 1021m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet ST03NE

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External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: ST 03 NE103
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1497704

Record last edited

Sep 20 2016 2:46PM


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