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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1097040

Hob Uid: 1097040
Location :
Devon
North Devon
Twitchen
Grid Ref : SS7911230520
Summary : A post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks north of Higher House Farm, Twitchen. In addition to the leats, a sluice and pond are also visible. 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. This 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.
More information : A complex of earthworks representing catchwater leats, pond and sluice. The leat measures 1.6m across and is embanked by 0.9m (1).

A post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks north of Higher House Farm, Twitchen. Centred at approximately SS 7894 3065, at least five leats are visible, following the contours of the south facing slope. In addition to the leats, a sluice and pond are also visible. This 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 (2-3).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Wilson-North WR 4-JAN-95 RCHME Field Investigation
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/73082 486-87 24-SEP-1970
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Source Number : 3
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Cook, H and Williamson, T 2007 "Water Meadow: History, Ecology and Conservation" Windgather Press, Cheshire page(s) 1-7, 28-29
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Leat, Pond, Sluice, Water Meadow
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 60636
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MDE14809
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 73 SE 26
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01