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HER Number:MDV108351
Name:Catch Meadow South-West of Lower Combe Farm

Summary

A possible small catch meadow of probable post-medieval to 19th century date was visible on aerial photographs of 1946 as earthwork gutters to the south-west of Lower Combe Farm. The gutters are not visible on later aerial photographs and have probably been levelled.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 984 033
Map Sheet:SS90SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBradninch
Civil ParishSilverton
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSILVERTON
Ecclesiastical ParishBRADNINCH

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

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.


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 as earthwork gutters on the north and east facing combe slopes to the south-west of Lower Combe Farm. The gutters are visible only as very subtle earthworks and do not appear to have been maintained for some time.
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 stream that flows south-eastwards from the direction of Caseberry Farm. The water meadow may be associated with further possible gutters on the south-facing slopes of the combe, south of Caseberry Cottages. The gutters were not visible on later aerial photographs and have probably been levelled.

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 4249-4250 04-NOV-1946. [Mapped feature: #67731 ]
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:Aug 15 2017 6:00PM