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HER Number:MDV107388
Name:Catch Meadow to the southwest of Stokehouse

Summary

A catch meadow of probable 19th century date is visible as a series of earthwork ditches on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards, to the southwest of Stokehouse.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 978 054
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 (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 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.


Ordnance Survey, 1967, OS/67040, OS/67040 V 12-13 18-APR-1967 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356895.

The catch meadow gutters remain visible as slight earthwork ditches.


Ordnance Survey, 1989, OS/89162, OS/89162 V 612-13 08-MAY-1989 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356894.

The catch meadow gutters appear to have been completely levelled, although the possible drainage ditch or leat remains visible as an earthwork ditch.


Next Perspectives, 2002, Pan Government Agreement, Next Perspectives PGA Imagery SS9705 29-SEP-2002 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356896.

The possible leat or drainage ditch remains visible as an earthwork ditch.


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 on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards, to the southwest of Stokehouse. 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 0.78 hectares of southeast facing slope. 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 260m to the west. A more substantial northwest to southeast aligned earthwork ditch measuring up to 3m in width is visible bisecting the gutters. It is not clear if this ditch represents an associated catch meadow feature, perhaps as a leat diverting the water flow from further upstream and from which the gutters run from to better irrigate the land, or is a later field drainage ditch. It is also unclear from the aerial photographs alone with which farm this water meadow system might have been associated with. Not being directly linked to a farmstead it probably operated as a ‘detached’ system. The catch meadow remains visible as slight earthwork ditches on aerial photographs of 1967, although appear to have been completely levelled by 1989. The possible leat or drainage ditch, however, remains visible as an earthwork ditch on digital images derived from aerial photographs taken in 2002.

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. [Mapped feature: #66841 ]
SDV356883Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
SDV356894Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1989. OS/89162. Ordnance Survey. Photograph (Paper). OS/89162 V 612-13 08-MAY-1989.
SDV356895Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1967. OS/67040. Ordnance Survey. Photograph (Paper). OS/67040 V 12-13 18-APR-1967.
SDV356896Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2002. Pan Government Agreement. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Imagery SS9705 29-SEP-2002.

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 18 2014 10:52AM