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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1468909

Hob Uid: 1468909
Location :
Devon
North Devon
Parracombe
Grid Ref : SS6694044487
Summary : A probable post medieval leat or water channel is visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork in a field to the south of Holwell Castle, Parracombe. Its form and position suggest it may represent the remains of a water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, which used a series of approximately parallel gutters located on a slope to distribute flowing water evenly over the surface of the meadow. This prevented freezing in winter and encouraged early growth in spring, thereby providing extra feed for livestock.
More information : A probable post medieval leat or water channel is visible on aerial photographs as an earthwork in a field to the south of Holwell Castle, Parracombe. Centred at approximately SS 6693 4448, the leat runs south-east to north-west along the contours of a north-east facing slope and measuring approximately 105 metres in length.
The form and position of this leat suggests it may represent the remains of a water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, which used a series of approximately parallel gutters located on a slope to distribute flowing water evenly over the surface of the meadow. This prevented freezing in winter and encouraged 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 (1-2).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF CPE/UK/1980 4090-91 11-APR-1947
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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
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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, Water Channel, Water Meadow
Evidence : Earthwork, Conjectural Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 64 SE 126
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