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MONUMENT NO. 1486616

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A post medieval water meadow system, known locally as a catchwater meadow, is visible on aerial photographs as a series of earthworks east of Cornham Farm, 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. Most of the Exmoor improvement farms constructed in the mid-19th century have some form of water meadow system; the land agent employed by the family, Robert Smith, was considered an expert in water meadows, and constructed a great number of them within the former Royal Forest.

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