HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.


HER Number:MDV108434
Name:Catch Meadow South East of Stockwell Cross

Summary

A possible catch meadow of probable post-medieval to early 20th century date was visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s and 1960s as earthwork gutters to the south-east of Stockwell Cross. The earthworks have probably been levelled.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 977 024
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 XX - 1540 AD to 1946 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1823, RAF/CPE/UK/1823 RP 3247-3248 04-NOV-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354994.

Earthwork ditches are visible. Map object based partly on this source.


BKS Surveys Ltd, 1967, BKS/2822, BKS/2822 V 2896-2897 14-MAR-1967 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354836.

Earthwork ditches are 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 possible variation on catch meadow irrigation of probable post-medieval to early 20th century date was visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s and 1960s as earthwork gutters on the floor of a shallow combe to the south-east of Stockwell Cross. In 1946 the gutters are visible only as very subtle earthworks and do not appear to have been recut or 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 March and April.
In this instance the catch meadow probably abstracted most of its required water from the stream that rises near the head of the combe north-west of Stockwell and flows along the eastern edge of the combe. However, the complex gutters to the south of the system might also have made use of the stream on the western edge of the combe.
This extensive system includes traditional parallel hillside catch meadow gutters, at circa SS97830236, but also more closely spaced and less regular gutters away from the steeper combe slopes, presumably designed to take advantage of variations in the micro-topography near the bottom of the combe. The gutters were not visible on later aerial photographs and have probably been levelled.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV354836Aerial Photograph: BKS Surveys Ltd. 1967. BKS/2822. BKS Surveys Ltd. Photograph (Paper). BKS/2822 V 2896-2897 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 3247-3248 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.

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 4:49PM