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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1466846

Hob Uid: 1466846
Location :
Devon
North Devon
Challacombe
Grid Ref : SS6890741100
Summary : A post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow system, is visible on aerial photographs to the east of Barton Gate, Challacombe. 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 seems to be connected to a nearby farmyard, suggesting that this was an integrated system which also distributed liquid manure as fertiliser to the fields.
More information : A post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow system, is visible on aerial photographs to the east of Barton Gate, Challacombe. Centred at approximately SS 6889 4109, four gutters are visible on a fairly steep west facing slope above an un-named tributary of the River Bray. The gutters vary in length from 75 to 95 metres and are between 1 and 2 metres wide. The gutters are overlain in places by field boundaries which are not depicted on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map, suggesting that this system was constructed prior to publication of this map in 1889. This system seems to be connected to a nearby farmyard, suggesting that this was an integrated system which also distributed liquid manure as fertiliser to the fields.
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 :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/73109 999 29-APR-1973
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Source Number : 2
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Cook, H and Williamson, T 2007 "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 : 1:2500 1889
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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 SE 73
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