MSO8333 - Post-medieval water meadow at Croydon House (Monument)


A post-medieval field gutter system is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1947.

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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 around Croydon House, Timberscombe. Centred at approximately SS 963 407, gutters are visible in a number of fields surrounding Croydon House, following the contours of the west-facing slope. They appear to have been supplied with water from a nearby spring and stream, which runs through the yard at Croydon, suggesting that this was an integrated system which also distributed liquid manure as fertiliser to the fields. It is also possible that some of the gutters are actually associated with the water wheel which has been reported at Croydon House, but these are indistinguisable on aerial photographs from the water meadow gutters. 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 (4)

  • <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. 38.
  • <2> Aerial photograph: 1947. LHL CPE/UK/1980. 4292-93, 3224-25.
  • <3> Monograph: Cook, H. + Williamson, T.. 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Windgather Press. 1st Edition. 1-7, 28-9.
  • <4>XY Archive: 2007-2009. Exmoor National Park NMP: SS 94 SE. MD002187. [Mapped feature: #40018 ]



Grid reference Centred SS 961 405 (409m by 459m)
Map sheet SS94SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO705
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11942
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SE74
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 1119593
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34523

Record last edited

Jan 14 2020 2:29PM


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