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HER Number:MDV107454
Name:Catch Meadow at Lower Brithayes

Summary

A catch meadow of probable 19th century date is visible as a series of earthwork ditches on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards, at Lower Brithayes.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 957 073
Map Sheet:SS90NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBickleigh (MD)
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBICKLEIGH
Ecclesiastical ParishSILVERTON

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 3316-17 04-NOV-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354994.

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


Next Perspectives, 2010, Aerial Photography for Great Britain, Next Perspectives PGA Imagery SS9507 22-MAY-2010 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356259.

The catch meadow is visible as a series of earthwork ditches. 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 on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards, at Lower Brithayes. 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 1.14 hectares of southwest and east 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 further to the north. It is 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 a series of earthwork ditches on digital images derived from aerial photographs of 2010.

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 3316-17 04-NOV-1946.
SDV356259Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2010. Aerial Photography for Great Britain. Aerial Photography for Great Britain Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Imagery SS9507 22-MAY-2010.
SDV356883Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.

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:May 11 2017 12:00AM