MMO3605 - Post-medieval water meadow east of Bitter Cleeve Copse (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

  • 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 in fields east of Bitter Cleeve Copse, Stogumber. Centred at approximately ST 0757 3544, four gutters are visible running north-south along the contours of an east facing slope above a small un-named stream. The gutters cover an area of some 1.1 hectares, and do 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. A series of approximately parallel gutters were used 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. (1) Vertical aerial photograph reference number RAF 106G/UK/1655 3334-35 11-JUL-1946.
  • <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 0757 3542 (107m by 310m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet ST03NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: ST 03 NE113
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1497751

Record last edited

Oct 26 2015 11:48AM


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