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HER Number:MDV112331
Name:Possible Catch Meadow at Woodmanton

Summary

A possible catch meadow of probable 19th century date is visible as a series of earthwork ditches on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards, at Woodmanton.

Location

Grid Reference:SY 013 861
Map Sheet:SY08NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishWoodbury
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWOODBURY

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CATCH MEADOW (Post Medieval to Modern - 1540 AD to 2013 AD (Between))

Full description

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1823, RAF/CPE/UK/1823 RP 3004-05 04-NOV-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354994.

The catch meadow is visible as a series of earthwork ditches.


Royal Air Force, 1965, RAF/58/7106, RAF/58/7106 006-07 12-NOV-1965 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356245.

The linear drain associated with the gutters is visible as an earthwork ditch.


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 probable 19th century date is visible as a series of earthwork ditches on aerial photographs of 1946 onwards, at Woodmanton. Most 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. 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 partial catch meadow covers an area of approximately 0.26 hectares of northwest facing slope and comprises a series of parallel gutters which measure less than 2m in width. The system appears to have been fed by a northwest to southeast aligned linear drain which may have directly tapped a water source located at Woodmanton Farm. This water meadow might have also operated as what has been called an ‘integrated’ catch meadow, in which manure from the cow sheds within the farmyard was mixed with the water supply to supply liquid manure to the pasture. The catch meadow remains partly visible on aerial photographs of 1965, although appears to have been levelled sometime after this date.

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 3004-05 04-NOV-1946. [Mapped feature: #71729 ]
SDV356245Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1965. RAF/58/7106. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/58/7106 006-07 12-NOV-1965.
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:May 27 2015 4:02PM