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HER Number:MDV113089
Name:Possible Catch Meadow at Woodhouse Farm Possible Catch Meadow at Woodhouse Farm Possible Catch Meadow at Woodhouse Farm

Summary

A possible catch meadow of probable 19th century date is visible as a series of earthwork ditches on aerial photographs of 1947 onwards at Woodhouse Farm, with which it was probably associated. The possible catch meadow remains partly visible on aerial photographs of 2000.

Location

Grid Reference:SY 022 940
Map Sheet:SY09SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishRockbeare
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishROCKBEARE

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, 1947, RAF/CPE/UK/1974, RAF/CPE/UK/1974 RP 3461-62 11-APR-1947 (Aerial Photograph). SDV356127.

A series of earthwork ditches are visible.


BKS Surveys Ltd, 1967, BKS/2822, BKS/2822 V 3050-51 14-MAR-1967 (Aerial Photograph). SDV354836.

A series of earthwork ditches are visible.


Ordnance Survey, 2000, OS/00981, OS/00981 V 027-28 19-MAR-2000 (Aerial Photograph). SDV358750.

Faint traces of earthwork ditches 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 probable 19th century date is visible as a series of earthwork ditches on aerial photographs of 1947 onwards at Woodhouse Farm, with which it was probably associated. 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. This possible ‘hybrid’ catch meadow covers an area of approximately 1.17 hectares of gentle west facing slope, approximately 60m to the south of Woodhouse Farm. This unconventional system comprises a series of fragmentary gutters which are bisected by a linear drain which may have served to feed the system by tapping a spring or stream possibly located at the farm, although this is unclear. This water meadow might have 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 possible catch meadow remains partly visible on aerial photographs of 2000.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV354836Aerial Photograph: BKS Surveys Ltd. 1967. BKS/2822. BKS Surveys Ltd. Photograph (Paper). BKS/2822 V 3050-51 14-MAR-1967. [Mapped feature: #72430 ]
SDV356127Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1947. RAF/CPE/UK/1974. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1974 RP 3461-62 11-APR-1947.
SDV356883Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2014-2015. East and Mid Devon River Catchments National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV358750Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 2000. OS/00981. Ordnance Survey Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). OS/00981 V 027-28 19-MAR-2000.

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:Dec 1 2015 10:04AM