Ancient Monuments

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Water meadow 400m east of Clattinger Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Oaksey, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.6393 / 51°38'21"N

Longitude: -1.9806 / 1°58'50"W

OS Eastings: 401436.26051

OS Northings: 193390.330041

OS Grid: SU014933

Mapcode National: GBR 2QK.435

Mapcode Global: VHB33.M284

Entry Name: Water meadow 400m east of Clattinger Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 April 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019729

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34201

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Oaksey

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Oaksey

Church of England Diocese: Bristol


The monument includes a water meadow, situated 400m east of Clattinger Farm in
the Upper Thames Valley. The meadow is on flat alluvial gravels deposited by
the Swillbrook, a tributary of the Thames, which flows from east to west 200m
to the south. The meadow is contained in a rectangular field of 2.8ha which
slopes gently to the south and east.
The water meadow survives as a series of low earthworks built to allow water
entering the field from the north to flow across the pasture before leaving
the field to the south and draining eastwards into the Swillbrook.
The meadow comprises two elements: mains and carriers. Three mains or ditches
run from north to south along the field, fed from a main drain to the north.
These formerly fed the ridges or carriers along the spine of which a channel
was cut from which water overflowed into the channels between. The carriers
are orientated north to south in a central block of the field, fed by
subsidiary drains which cross from east to west. The carriers are up to 0.3m
high and 40m-50m long and are spaced 9m-12m apart.
The field is marked as `The Water Meadow' on the Oaksey Tythe Map of 1843.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Water meadows were an agricultural innovation in use in Britain from the 17th
to 19th centuries. They were a mechanism for allowing water to flow across
early spring pasture protecting it from frost and supplying nutrients. The
resulting early growth of grass allowed early spring grazing and, despite an
initial capital investment, this increased the value of land many times. Water
was fed to the meadow by a series of weirs and sluices, controlled by a
`drowner', often a full time occupation. Within the meadow, water flowed along
carriers or ridges fed by mains or ditches, leaving through a series of
The particular requirements of water meadows restricts their geographical
distribution, but they were common in certain locations, particularly along
the chalk valleys of southern England.
The water meadow 400m east of Clattinger Farm survives well and is a good
example of the relatively uncommon Thames valley meadows, many of which have
been lost through gravel extraction.

Source: Historic England


Title: Oaksey tythe map and appointment
Source Date: 1843

Source: Historic England

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