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HER Number:MDV108409
Name:Possible Catch Meadow North East of Devon Valley Mill

Summary

Two narrow and roughly parallel earthwork ditches visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards on the south-east bank of the River Culm at Hele, might be evidence of a type of catch meadow of post-medieval to 19th century date.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 992 021
Map Sheet:SS90SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBroad Clyst
DistrictEast Devon

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CATCH MEADOW (Post Medieval to XIX - 1540 AD to 1840 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1823, RAF/CPE/UK/1823 RP 3245-3246 04-NOV-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354994.

Parallel earthwork ditches are visible. Map object based partly on this source.


Ordnance Survey, 1989, OS/89162, OS/89162 V 671-672 08-MAY-1989 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356894.

Parallel earthwork ditches are visible.


Next Perspectives, 2010, Aerial Photography for Great Britain, Next Perspectives PGA Imagery SS9902 22-MAY-2010 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356259.

The course of the parallel earthwork ditches are visible as cropmarks. 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.

Two roughly parallel narrow earthwork ditches visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards to the south-east bank of the River Culm at Hele, might be evidence of type of catch meadow of post-medieval to 19th 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 March and April.
In this instance the earthworks might represent a variation on the catch meadow technology wherein the system is less regular in plan to account for variations in the ground surface of the valley bottom. The course of the possible gutters remained visible on digital images derived from aerial photographs of 2010 as incomplete lines of darker vegetation.

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 3245-3246 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 SS9902 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.
SDV356894Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1989. OS/89162. Ordnance Survey. Photograph (Paper). OS/89162 V 671-672 08-MAY-1989.

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 13 2015 4:43PM