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HER Number:MDV108345
Name:Catch Meadow South of Yarde Down Farm

Summary

A catch meadow of probable post-medieval to 19th century date was visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards as earthwork gutters to the south of Yarde Down Farm. The gutters probably survive as subtle earthworks.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 974 037
Map Sheet:SS90SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishSilverton
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSILVERTON

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthworks of catch (water)meadow, farm pond and traditional farm buildings at Yarde Down Farm

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CATCH MEADOW (Post Medieval to XIX - 1540 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

A trackway is depicted to the south-west of the farmstead.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1823, RAF/CPE/UK/1823 RP 4249-4250 04-NOV-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354994.

Earthwork gulleys were visible.


Environment Agency, 1998-2012, LiDAR DSM data JPEG image (1m resolution), LIDAR SS9703-SS9603 Environment Agency DSM 19 Dec 2005 & 14-20 Feb 2012 (Cartographic). SDV357034.

The earthwork channels remained visible as subtle earthworks.


Next Perspectives, 2002, Pan Government Agreement, Next Perspectives PGA Imagery SS9703 29-SEP-2002 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356896.

Earthwork gulleys remained visible, notably to the north of the system.


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 post-medieval to 19th century date was visible on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards as earthwork gutters on the east facing combe slopes to the south of Yarde Down Farm.
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.
In this instance the catch meadow probably abstracted water from the pond and stream that flows southwards along the combe, possibly at several locations. Gutters upslope of the pond might have been fed by a spring not depicted on the current Ordnance Survey base map. It is possible the earthwork transcribed by the survey as the northernmost gutter was the remains of a path depicted on the Ordnance Survey first edition 25inch map, or that the path reused an earlier catchmeadow gutter. The gutters remained visible as subtle earthworks on digital images derived from aerial photographs taken in 2002 and on images derived from lidar data captured in 2005 and 2012.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First 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 4249-4250 04-NOV-1946. [Mapped feature: #67724 ]
SDV356883Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
SDV356896Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2002. Pan Government Agreement. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Imagery SS9703 29-SEP-2002.
SDV357034Cartographic: Environment Agency. 1998-2012. LiDAR DSM data JPEG image (1m resolution). Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SS9703-SS9603 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:Nov 6 2014 12:23PM