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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1464779

Hob Uid: 1464779
Location :
Devon
North Devon
Kentisbury, Parracombe
Grid Ref : SS6478043908
Summary : A post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks to the west of Hollacombe, Kentisbury. 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. This system does not appear to be connected to the yard at Hollacombe, indicating that this was a detached system which distributed only water, and not liquid manure as fertiliser. However, a drain or leat is depicted on the Ordnance Survey 1:10000 map running downslope from the farmyard at Hollacombe, and it is possible that this leat was connected to the water meadow system at some point.
More information : A post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks to the west of Hollacombe, Kentisbury. Centred at approximately SS 6481 4383, at least eight gutters are visible on a fairly steep north-east facing slope above Rowley Cleave. The gutters vary in length from 39 to 160 metres, and are between 1 and two metres in width. This system does not appear to be connected to the yard at Hollacombe, indicating that this was a detached system which distributed only water, and not liquid manure as fertiliser. However, a drain or leat is depicted on the Ordnance Survey 1:10000 map at SS 6462 4379 running downslope from the farmyard at Hollacombe, and it is possible that this leat was connected to the water meadow system at some point.
Catchwater meadow systems 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 systems 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 :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 106G/UK/1501 4237-38 13-MAY-1946
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Source Number : 2
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Cook, H and Williamson, T "Water Meadows; History, Ecology and Conservation" Windgather Press, Cambridge page(s) 1-7, 28-29
Page(s) : 1-7, 28-29
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Source Number : 3
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:10000, 2004
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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 : Water Meadow
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 64 SW 43
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1468150
Relationship type : General association

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