Water meadows

In the Hundred of Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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water meadow bridge

A bridge over a water meadow channel near Great Chalfield. It is made of large thin sandstone slabs from the Forest Marble formation..

Water meadows were a development of the 18th century agrarian revolution. It had been noticed that grass grew earliest and best where floods had been, so shallow canals were dug to flood low-lying ground artificially in late winter to produce early growth. This process was known as “drowning” or as “floating” and was carried out by surveyors, as the laying out of the distributary channels called for great precision.

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