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HER Number:MDV107387
Name:Catch Meadow at North Down Farm

Summary

A catch meadow of probable 19th century date is visible as a series of earthwork ditches and a cropmark ditch on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards, at North Down Farm.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 973 054
Map Sheet:SS90NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBradninch
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBRADNINCH

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CATCH MEADOW (Post Medieval to Modern - 1540 AD to 2013 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1823, RAF/CPE/UK/1823 RP 3312-13 04-NOV-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354994.

The catch meadow is visible as a series of earthwork ditches. Map object based on this source.


Environment Agency, 1998-2012, LiDAR DSM data JPEG image (1m resolution), LIDAR SS9705 Environment Agency DSM 19-DEC-2005 & 14-20-FEB-2012 (Cartographic). SDV357034.

The catch meadow gutters have been levelled on digital images derived from Lidar data captured during 2005 and 2012, although the headmain, or leat, largely survives as an earthwork ditch.


Get Mapping, 1999, GM/121/99, Devon County Council GetMapping/121/99 323-24 24-JUL-1999 (Aerial Photograph). SDV355055.

The catch meadow gutters appear to have been largely levelled, although a single catch meadow gutter is visible as a cropmark ditch. Map object based on this source.


Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2014-2015, East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV356883.

A catch meadow of probable 19th century date is visible as a series of earthwork ditches and a cropmark ditch on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards, at North Down Farm. Most catch meadow systems are believed to date to the post medieval period, although it is likely that they were first developed in the medieval period. Catch meadows provided a simple, inexpensive and effective form of irrigation. When irrigation was required water was diverted from a source such as a pond, river, spring or spring-fed stream and passed along the meadow slopes via one or more of the gutters, which was then caused to overflow. The lower, roughly parallel gutters then ‘caught’ and redistributed water passing it evenly over the surface of a meadow below. The gently flowing water prevented the ground freezing in winter and encouraged early growth in spring, thereby providing extra feed for livestock, particularly important during the hungry gap of March and April. The catch meadow covers an area of approximately 3.8 hectares of northeast and southeast facing slope on the north side of the farm. The system comprises a series of gutters which measure less than 2m in width and appear to tap a spring-fed stream that rises approximately 40m to the northwest. A possible headmain or leat to divert the flow of water is visible as a more substantial earthwork ditch (up to 3m in width) from the source of the spring southeasterly towards the farm. It is likely that whilst the catch meadow was associated with North Down Farm, it probably operated as a ‘detached’ system. The catch meadow gutters have been levelled on digital images derived from Lidar data captured during 2005 and 2012, although remnants of the probable headmain clearly survive as an earthwork ditch.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV354994Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1823. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1823 RP 3312-13 04-NOV-1946.
SDV355055Aerial Photograph: Get Mapping. 1999. GM/121/99. Get Mapping Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). Devon County Council GetMapping/121/99 323-24 24-JUL-1999.
SDV356883Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
SDV357034Cartographic: Environment Agency. 1998-2012. LiDAR DSM data JPEG image (1m resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SS9705 Environment Agency DSM 19-DEC-2005 & 14-20-FEB-2012.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6530 - The East and Mid-Devon Rivers Catchment NMP project (Ref: ACD613)

Date Last Edited:Aug 26 2014 1:51PM