MMO814 - Post-medieval water meadow at Slowley Farm (Monument)


The fragmented remains of a post-medieval field gutter system associated with Slowley deserted farmstead, visible on aerial photographs taken in 1947 and 1964.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A water meadow system at Slowley farm was noted on aerial photographs. [1,2] The earthwork remains of a fragmented water meadow system associated with the post medieval farmstead of Slowley were seen at SS 9995 3807. The water meadow survives as ditches running parallel to the hillside. The ditches were seen as earthworks and mapped from aerial photographs. [3] A post-medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks south of Slowley Farm, Luxborough. Centred at approximately ST 0002 3805, at least six gutters are visible, following the contours of the south-east facing slope below Slowley Farm. At least one appears to be connected to the farmyard at Slowley Farm, suggesting that this was an integrated system which also distributed liquid manure as fertiliser to the fields. The system covers an area of approximately 2.8 hectares. 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. [4-6]

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Report: Francis, P.T.H.. 1984. A Survey and Description of the "Catch Meadow" Irrigation Systems Found in the Exmoor Region of West Somerset. 41.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 3288.
  • <3> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF F26/543/2821/135-6 (27 April 1964).
  • <4> Aerial photograph: Various. Various. Vertical Aerial Photograph. RAF 543/2821 (F62) 133-34 (27 April 1964).
  • <5> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <6> Archive: RCHME: Brendon Hills Mapping Project, SS 93 NE. AF1133887.



Grid reference Centred SS 9994 3808 (307m by 230m) (Aerial Survey)
Map sheet SS93NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO3647
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11915
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO8656
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 93 NE87
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1128265
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1499295
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34494

Record last edited

Feb 21 2017 4:39PM


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