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HER Number:MDV108692
Name:Catch Meadow North of Lower Comberoy Farm

Summary

A possible catch meadow of possible post-medieval to 20th century date is visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s onwards as roughly parallel narrow earthwork ditches on the slopes of a combe to the north of Lower Comberoy Farm, Broadclyst.
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:SS 990 009
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 XX - 1540 AD to 1946 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 or channels are visible.


Ordnance Survey, 1967, OS/67041, OS/67041 V 24-25 18-APR-1967 (Aerial Photograph). SDV357110.

Parallel earthwork ditches or channels are visible.


Next Perspectives, 2002, Pan Government Agreement, Next Perspectives PGA Imagery SS9901, SS9800-SS9900 29-SEP-2002 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356896.

Parallel earthwork ditches or channels are visible.


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

A possible catch meadow of possible post-medieval to 20th century date is visible on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards as roughly parallel narrow earthwork ditches on the slopes of a combe to the north of Lower Comberoy Farm, Broadclyst.
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 system was probably supplied by the stream that flows northwards along the bottom of the combe. The gutters were identifiable as cropmarks and grassed over subtle earthworks on digital images derived from aerial photographs taken in 2002 and probably survive as very slight earthworks.

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.
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 SS9901, SS9800-SS9900 29-SEP-2002.
SDV357110Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1967. OS/67041. Ordnance Survey. Photograph (Paper). OS/67041 V 24-25 18-APR-1967. [Mapped feature: #68043 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV65289Related to: LEAT in the Parish of Broad Clyst (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6530 - The East and Mid-Devon Rivers Catchment NMP project (Ref: ACD613)

Date Last Edited:Dec 10 2014 5:09PM