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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 909008

Hob Uid: 909008
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Exmoor
Grid Ref : SS7913734610
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 the nineteenth century Sheredon Farm, Exmoor and thought to be contemporary with it. 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 appears to be connected to the farmyard at Sherdon, suggesting that this was an integrated system which also distributed liquid manure as fertiliser to the fields.
More information : For details see county SMR (1).

Centred at SS 79043442 on the west-facing slopes of a steep north-south valley running south from Sherdon Farm is a system of catchwater leats. At least two leats are visible for a distance of some 550m as far as Sherdon Cottage. They are presumably contemporary with Sherdon Farm which dates from the 19th century (2).

A post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks south of the nineteenth century Sheredon Farm, Exmoor and thought to be contemporary with it. Centred at approximately SS 7904 3442, at least five leats are visible extending across a west-facing slope above a tributary of Sherdon Water. This system appears to be connected to the farmyard at Sherdon, 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 (3-4).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Somerset CC SMR, 29-SEP-1986.
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : RCHME Field Investigation, 12-JAN-1995, WR Wilson-North.
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Source Number : 3
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/73086 766-67 17-APR-1973
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Source Number : 4
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Cook, H and Williamson, T 2007 "Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation" Windgather Presss, 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, Leat
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 34368
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : HER Number (Exmoor National Park)
External Cross Reference Number : MSO6994
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 73 SE 13
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SS 73 SE 13
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-01-12
End Date : 1995-01-12
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-01
End Date : 2009-07-01