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HER Number:MDV123328
Name:Catchmeadow south of Woodend, Staverton

Summary

A possible simple integrated catchmeadow system associated with Woodend is visible as a curvilinear earthwork ditch on aerial photographs taken between 1946 and 1969.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 747 686
Map Sheet:SX76NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishStaverton
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSTAVERTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CATCH MEADOW (XVIII to XIX - 1701 AD to 1900 AD)

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

No features are depicted in this exact location.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/3G/TUD/UK/223, RAF/3G/TUD/UK/223 Vp1 5026-5027 12-JUL-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352279.

A curvilinear earthwork ditch is visible.


Ordnance Survey, 1969, OS/69296, OS/69296 V 129-130 29-JUN-1969 (Aerial Photograph). SDV361475.

A curvilinear earthwork ditch is visible.


Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2018-2019, The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 1, Haldon Ridge to Dart Valley (Interpretation). SDV361305.

A narrow curvilinear earthwork ditch, less than 2 metres wide, is visible on aerial photographs taken between 1946 and 1969 on combe slopes south-west of Woodend. It follows the contour, dropping approximately 5 metres over a visible 90 metre length and may have been a catchmeadow gutter of nineteenth century date. It appears to originate from a small irregularly shaped feature, probably a pond, depicted on the late-19th century mapping which is itself seemingly fed by a water channel linked to Woodend. This suggests that it may have been part of a simple ‘integrated’ system whereby water mixed with manure from the farmstead was distributed across the hillslopes to both irrigate and fertilise. The area has since been impacted by road building and earthworks are unlikely to survive.
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.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV352279Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/3G/TUD/UK/223. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/3G/TUD/UK/223 Vp1 5026-5027 12-JUL-1946.
SDV361305Interpretation: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2018-2019. The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 1, Haldon Ridge to Dart Valley. Historic England Research Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV361475Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1969. OS/69296. Ordnance Survey. Photograph (Paper). OS/69296 V 129-130 29-JUN-1969. [Mapped feature: #113961 ]

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7515 - The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping (formerly NMP) Survey (Ref: ACD1748)

Date Last Edited:Nov 13 2018 3:37PM