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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1468860

Hob Uid: 1468860
Location :
Devon
North Devon
Challacombe
Grid Ref : SS6830541904
Summary : A post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks in fields to the south-west of Withycombe Farm, Challacombe. It is not clear whether this system is part of the water meadow recorded under NMR Monument 1466896 or a separate system. 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 appears to be connected to the farmyard at Withycombe Farm, 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, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks in fields to the south-west of Withycombe Farm, Challacombe. It is not clear whether this system is part of the water meadow recorded under NMR UID 1466896 or a separate system. Four gutters are visible, centred at approximately SS 6832 4194 on a fairly steep west facing slope above an un-named stream or combe. The vary in length from 60 to 165 metres in length, and are between 1 and 2 metres wide. This system appears to be connected to the farmyard at Withycombe Farm, by means of a channel marked with a direction of flow arrow depicted on the Ordnance Survey 1:10000 map. This suggests 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).

Parts of the Post Medieval water meadow described above were mapped as part of an air photo interpretation project in Challacombe environs. There is an additional gutter.
(4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 543/2821 (F65) 184-85 27-APR-1964
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Source Number : 2
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:10000 2004
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Source Number : 3
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 : 4
Source : RCHME/EH/HE Aerial Photographers comment
Source details : Helen Winton/20-DEC-1999/RCHME: Challacombe, West Devon
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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 117
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1466896
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: WEST EXMOOR PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: PARRACOMBE, WEST EXMOOR
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 1999-12-01
End Date : 1999-12-01
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01