MMO3649 - Post-medieval water meadow south of Combe Barn (Monument)


A substantial post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1962 as a series of earthworks.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A substantial post-medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks south of Combe Barn, Nettlecombe. Centred at approximately ST 0472 3777 at least seven gutters are visible extending across three extant fields and covering a total area of some 7.4 hectares. At least one of the gutters appears to be connected to the farmyard at Combe Barn, suggesting that this was an integrated system which also distributed liquid manure as fertiliser to the fields. [1] 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. [2]

Sources/Archives (3)

  • --- Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: ST 03 NW. MD002177.
  • <1> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 58/5159 (F22) 200-01 04-JUN-1962.
  • <2> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.



Grid reference Centred ST 0466 3783 (398m by 368m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet ST03NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: ST 03 NW94
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1499300

Record last edited

Feb 22 2013 1:59PM


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