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HER Number:MDV107669
Name:Catchmeadow West of Culliford Farm


A small simple catchmeadow system west of Culliford Farm is visible as a curvilinear earthwork ditch on aerial photographs taken in the 1940s. Slight earthworks or below-ground remains may survive.


Grid Reference:ST 079 144
Map Sheet:ST01SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishCulmstock
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCULMSTOCK

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthworks of catch (water) meadow ditch of probable 19th or early 20th century date west of Culliford Farm

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CATCH MEADOW (XVIII to XIX - 1701 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

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

No features are depicted in this exact location.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1823, RAF/CPE/UK/1823 RP 4320-4321 04-NOV-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354994.

A curvilinear earthwork ditch is visible.

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

A narrow curvilinear earthwork ditch, less than 2 metres wide, is visible on aerial photographs taken in 1946 on a combe slope west of Culliford Farm. It closely follows the contour, dropping less than 5 metres over more than 250 metres. The location and alignment along the contour indicate that this was a gutter of a small catchmeadow system of probable nineteenth or early twentieth century date.
Many 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 and often continued in use into the twentieth century. 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 the March and April.
This small catch meadow system appears to have been taken off the nearby watercourse at ST0781614495. Remains of the gutters are not clearly visible on later available aerial photographs but some slight earthwork or below ground features may survive.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV354994Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1823. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1823 RP 4320-4321 04-NOV-1946. [Mapped feature: #67091 ]
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 14 2020 12:32PM