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HER Number:MDV124456
Name:Catchmeadow east of Farlacombe, Bickington

Summary

Two curvilinear earthwork ditches, visible on aerial photographs taken from the 1940s and on images derived from lidar data captured between 1998 and 2017, are interpreted as the remains of a post-medieval or 19th century catchmeadow.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 793 711
Map Sheet:SX77SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBickington
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishBICKINGTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CATCH MEADOW (Post Medieval to XIX - 1540 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

South West Heritage Trust, 1838-1848, Digitised Tithe Maps and Transcribed Apportionments (Cartographic). SDV359954.

A curvilinear water channel is depicted.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/3G/TUD/UK/223, RAF/3G/TUD/UK/223 Vp4 5290-5291 12-JUL-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352279.

Two curvilinear earthwork ditches are visible.


Environment Agency, 1998-2017, LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) EA: South Devon Coast to Dartmoor, LIDAR SX7971 Environment Agency DTM 01-JAN-1998 to 31-MAY-2017 (Cartographic). SDV361470.

Two curvilinear earthwork ditches are 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.

Two curvilinear earthwork ditches, less than 2 metres in width, are visible on aerial photographs taken from 1946 onwards and on images derived from lidar data captured between 1998 and 2017, on the combe slopes east of Farlacombe. They follow the contour, dropping approximately 5 metres over a visible 240 metre length. They may have originated from the farmstead and functioned as part of an integrated catchmeadow system whereby manure was mingled with water to both irrigate and fertilise land. One is partially depicted on the late-19th century mapping, suggesting that it was still in use or recently out of use by this time.
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

SDV352279Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/3G/TUD/UK/223. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/3G/TUD/UK/223 Vp4 5290-5291 12-JUL-1946.
SDV359954Cartographic: South West Heritage Trust. 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Maps and Transcribed Apportionments. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Digital.
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
SDV361470Cartographic: Environment Agency. 1998-2017. LiDAR DTM data (1m resolution) EA: South Devon Coast to Dartmoor. Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR SX7971 Environment Agency DTM 01-JAN-1998 to 31-MAY-2017.

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:Jan 7 2019 11:38AM