HeritageGateway - Home

Login  |  Register
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.


HER Number:MDV103095
Name:Water meadow at West Hagginton Farm

Summary

A water meadow of possible 19th century date is visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s onward as earthwork ditches to the north-west and south-east of West Hagginton Farm. Known locally as catchwork, catch-meadow or field-gutter systems, such water meadows are usually found on combe or hill slopes and are designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream along a series of roughly parallel channels or gutters, which were caused to overflow when irrigation was required. Their use was particularly important during the hungry gap between March and April.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 541 467
Map Sheet:SS54NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishIlfracombe
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishILFRACOMBE

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Traditional farm buildings associated with Grade II listed farmhouse and 19th century catch (water) meadow system at West Hagginton

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FIELD NAME (Unknown date)
  • CATCH MEADOW (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WATER MEADOW (XIX to XX - 1801 AD to 1989 AD)

Full description

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848, 1450 (Cartographic). SDV349431.


Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

The water meadow is depicted but not annotated.


Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

The water meadow is depicted but not annotated.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1655, NMR RAF/106G/UK/1655 3169-70 11--JUL-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349996.

A water meadow is visible as earthwork ditches to the north-west and south-east of West Hagginton Farm.


Next Perspectives, 2007, Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs, Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS5446 03-MAY-2007 (Aerial Photograph). SDV350196.

The course of the gutters remain visible as earthworks and cropmarks.


Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J., 2007, The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report, No. 1860 (Report - Assessment). SDV339712.

Field called 'Shutt Meadow' on 1839 Tithe Apportionment and 1840 Tithe Map (plot 1450) suggests the presence of a catchwork water meadow system and this is confirmed by later mapping.


Hegarty, C. + Knight, S., 2011 - 2012, North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV349018.

A water meadow of possible 19th century date is visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s onward as earthwork ditches to the north-west and south-east of West Hagginton Farm with which it is probably associated. Three roughly parallel earthwork ditches are visible centred on circa SS54184690 on the west facing combe slopes below the Farm to the north-west, and a single gutter is visible centred on circa SS54324661 on the higher slopes to the south east of the farm.
Such water-meadows, known as catchwork, catch-meadow or field-gutter systems, are typically found on combe or hill slopes and are designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream. The water is carried along the valley sides via one or more channels or gutters and when irrigation was required the gutters were blocked, causing water to overflow from gutter to gutter, thereby irrigating the slopes. This film of water prevented the ground freezing during the winter and raised the temperature of the grass in the spring, thereby encouraging early growth, particularly important during the hungry gap of March and April.
The visible gutters appear to tap two spring-fed streams which rise to the east of the farm, and the system probably irrigated an area of nearly 3 hectares. Presumably the full extent of the gutters is depicted, if not annotated, on both the Ordnance Survey first and second edition 25 inch maps which might support the interpretation that they remained in use in to the twentieth century. The gutters are incompletely visible on the aerial photographs available to the survey, but remain visible on aerial photographs taken in 1989, which might support the interpretation that the system had been maintained. However, digital interactive images derived from aerial photographs taken in 2007 reveal that whilst the south-eastern gutter remains relatively clearly visible as an earthwork, those to the north-west are less clearly visible as earthworks and appear somewhat silted or infilled, but are more apparent as darker cropmarks in the pasture.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV339712Report - Assessment: Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J.. 2007. The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report. Exeter Archaeology Report. 06.22 (rev.1). A4 Stapled + Digital. No. 1860.
SDV349018Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S.. 2011 - 2012. North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. ACD383/2/1. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV349431Cartographic: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Mosaic, approximately 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Map. Digital. 1450. [Mapped features: #62583 ; #62584 ]
SDV349996Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1655. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF/106G/UK/1655 3169-70 11--JUL-1946.
SDV350196Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2007. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Tile Ref: SS5446 03-MAY-2007.

Associated Monuments

MDV103096Related to: Field boundary at West Haggington Farm (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6132 - North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty NMP Project

Date Last Edited:Aug 19 2016 11:32AM