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HER Number:MDV107952
Name:Probable Catch Meadow at Greenend Farm

Summary

A probable catch meadow of probable nineteenth or early twentieth century date was visible on aerial photographs of 1946 as roughly and narrow parallel earthwork ditches on the south-west facing slopes to the south of Greenend Farm, with which it was probably associated.
Catch meadows are usually found on combe or hill slopes and are designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream and passing it along the slope via a series of roughly parallel channels or gutters. When irrigation was required the gutters were blocked, causing water to overflow from gutter to gutter, thereby irrigating the slopes below.

Location

Grid Reference:ST 044 024
Map Sheet:ST00SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishClyst Hydon
Civil ParishPlymtree
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishPLYMTREE

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CATCH MEADOW (XIX to XX - 1801 AD to 1967 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1823, RAF/CPE/UK/1823 RP 3300-3301 04-NOV-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354994.

Narrow earthwork ditches were visible. Map object based partly on this source.


BKS Surveys Ltd, 1967, BKS/2822, BKS/2822 V 2979-2980 14-MAR-1967 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354836.

Narrow ditches remained visible south of Greenend Farm.


Environment Agency, 2005-2012, LiDAR DTM data JPEG image (1m resolution), LIDAR ST0402 Environment Agency DSM 2005-2010 (Cartographic). SDV357033.

Slight traces of the earthwork ditches remained visible. Map object based partly on this source.


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

A probable catch meadow of probable nineteenth or early twentieth century date was visible on aerial photographs of 1946 as roughly and narrow parallel earthwork ditches on the south-west facing slopes to the south of Greenend Farm, with which it was probably associated.
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.
The system was probably supplied with water by the stream that rises to the west and flows through Greenend Farm. The stream fed ponds to the immediate east of the farmstead and with such a supply to hand, it is likely the catch meadow operated as an attached system, distributing farmyard waste as liquid manure. The gutters to the south of the farm remain visible on aerial photographs of 1967, but the wider system cannot be seen on more recent aerial photographs. Although many the earthworks have probably been levelled, slight earthwork ditches can be seen on images derived from lidar of 2005 and 2010, to the west of Greenend Farm.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV354836Aerial Photograph: BKS Surveys Ltd. 1967. BKS/2822. BKS Surveys Ltd. Photograph (Paper). BKS/2822 V 2979-2980 14-MAR-1967.
SDV354994Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1823. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1823 RP 3300-3301 04-NOV-1946.
SDV356883Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
SDV357033Cartographic: Environment Agency. 2005-2012. LiDAR DTM data JPEG image (1m resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR ST0402 Environment Agency DSM 2005-2010.

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:Sep 25 2014 12:47PM