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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1492751

Hob Uid: 1492751
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exmoor
Grid Ref : SS7923034018
Summary : A post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks south of Sherdon Water, Exmoor. 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 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 post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks south of Sherdon Water, Exmoor. Centred at approximately SS 7914 3402, at least twelve leats are visible, mostly running north-south along the contours of a north facing valley above a tributary of Sherdon Water. They cover an area of approximately 10 hectares, but do 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 (1-2).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/96559 123-24 07-MAY-1996
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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, 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 : 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 73 SE 70
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