Watermeadows
Up

MOBILE PHONE USERS WILL OBTAIN A BETTER EXPERIENCE IF ROTATED TO HORIZONTAL

 

Micheal Tighe wrote:

THE WATER MEADOWS OF MERE

 

An often overlooked feature of the landscape of the valleys running off the chalk downlands of both Wiltshire and Dorset is the remaining traces of the system of water meadows created to boost the growth of the grass - such an essential element in the agricultural economy of the countryside.   In some places the remains of this system remain obvious to this day, in the form of water-channels still filled in times of heavy rainfall;  important examples remain to be seen in the Avon valley, particularly near Salisbury, and in the Frome valley of South East Dorset.   On the surface nothing seems to remain of such a system in Mere, but this paper is to describe a small, but not negligible, area of water meadow to the South of Mere.

 

First though, what was the exact purpose of these systems?  Strangely, little note had been taken of them until the 1950ís, when Eric Kerridge published a study of those in Wiltshire[i].  In 1968 Miss B.J.Whitehead  made a thorough study of the water meadows of the Frome Valley in Dorset[ii].   These two papers remain the most useful authorities on the subject.



[i] The floating of the Wiltshire Water Meadows,  Wilts. Archaeoligical &Natural History Magazine, volLV, Dec 1953, p105.

 

[ii] Proceedings Dorset N.H.&A. Soc,  vol 89 Dec 1968 p 257.