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HER Number:MDV110512
Name:Catch Meadow South of Coombe Lane, Cadbury

Summary

The slight earthwork remains of a catch meadow of probable post-medieval to early twentieth century date were visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s as roughly parallel narrow ditches on the combe slopes south of Coombe Lane, Cadbury. 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. The catch meadow gutters have probably mostly been levelled.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 907 046
Map Sheet:SS90SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishCadbury
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCADBURY

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 3260-3261 04-NOV-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354994.

Parallel earthwork ditches are visible.


Royal Air Force, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1995 RS, RAF/CPE/UK/1995 RS 4057-4058 13-APR-1947 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356938.

Parallel earthwork ditches are visible. Water is visible issueing from the ditches.


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

The slight earthwork remains of a catch meadow of probable post-medieval to early twentieth century date were visible on aerial photographs of the 1940s as roughly parallel narrow ditches on the combe slopes south of Coombe Lane, Cadbury.
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.
The system was probably previously associated with the settlement at Higher Coombe and was probably supplied with water by a gutter or leat from there, as depicted on the Ordnance Survey First Edition 25 inch map. Water can be seen flowing downslope on images of April 1947, presumably from this upper gutter or headmain. The gutters were not noted on more recent photographs or images derived from lidar, and it is likely that the catch meadow earthworks have 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 3260-3261 04-NOV-1946. [Mapped feature: #69943 ]
SDV356883Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
SDV356938Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1995 RS. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1995 RS 4057-4058 13-APR-1947.

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:Mar 23 2015 2:48PM