Wandle: Watermeads

Wandle: Watermeads

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Date Photo Taken 14th September 1959
Area Mitcham
Picture Reference Mit_​Rivers_​Waterways_​2-24
Original Format Photo
Notes / History Inspecting the flow - Jack Herring, warden of the Wandle Watermeads, 1959.

This is one of the mill cuts for a waterwheel in the Watermeads. The bridge is no longer there.

Historically, the Watermeads, or "water meadows" were of great significance to the local population. During the Middle Ages, the area belonged to the powerful De La Mare family and was carefully managed to ensure the provision of winter fodder and summer pasture for cattle. In winter the land was allowed to flood and the rich Wandle silt increased the fertility of the soil. In spring, when the waters receded, the resulting grass crop was cut for hay. Cattle were then free to graze, or the sluices were opened and the land was flooded again to encourage a second batch of fodder.

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