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HER Number:MDV128560
Name:Catch meadow southeast of Cutwellwalls, Ugborough

Summary

Narrow curvilinear earthwork ditches, interpreted as the gutters of a 19th century catch meadow irrigation system, are visible on aerial photographs taken from 1946 onwards and on visualisations derived from lidar data captured in 2019. The catch meadow had likely fallen out of use by the late-19th century.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 704 577
Map Sheet:SX75NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishUgborough
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishUGBOROUGH

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Earthworks of two former Water Catchmeadows, east of Gutwellwalls Farm

Other References/Statuses

  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CATCH MEADOW (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

The earthworks do not correspond with any curvilinear features in this location.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1890, Devon County Council RAF/CPE/UK/1890 1147-1148 10-DEC-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV169268.

Narrow curvilinear ditches are visible as earthworks.

Environment Agency, 2019, National Lidar Programme, LIDAR Environment Agency DTM 25-FEB-2019 (Cartographic). SDV363691.

Narrow curvilinear ditches are visible as earthworks.

Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R., 2019-2020, The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP) (Interpretation). SDV362982.

Narrow curvilinear ditches, less than 2m wide, are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs taken from 1946 onwards and on visualisations derived from lidar data captured in 2019. The earthwork channels follow the contours of the southeast and northeast facing combe slopes and occupy an area of circa 1.5 hectares. They are interpreted as the gutters of a 19th century catch meadow irrigation system possibly associated with Cutwellwalls farm and which tapped a spring-fed stream that rises circa 125m to the northwest.
Catch meadow systems are designed to irrigate pasture by diverting water from a spring or stream. The water is carried along the valley sides via one or more channels or gutters and when irrigation was required the gutters were blocked, causing water to overflow from gutter to gutter, thereby irrigating the slopes. This film of water prevented the ground freezing during the winter and raised the temperature of the grass in the spring, thereby encouraging early growth, particularly important during the hungry gap of March and April.
No features are depicted in this exact location on the available historic mapping, and any catch meadow here presumably fell out of use by the late-19th century. Catch meadow MDV128559 recorded to the northwest may be associated with this system.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV169268Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1890. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). Devon County Council RAF/CPE/UK/1890 1147-1148 10-DEC-1946. [Mapped feature: #126214 ]
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV362982Interpretation: Hegarty, C., Knight, S. and Sims, R.. 2019-2020. The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping Survey. Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (AI&M, formerly NMP). Historic England Research Report. Digital.
SDV363691Cartographic: Environment Agency. 2019. National Lidar Programme. Environment Agency LiDAR data. Digital. LIDAR Environment Agency DTM 25-FEB-2019.

Associated Monuments

MDV128559Related to: Catch meadow south of Cutwellwalls, Ugborough (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8098 - The South Devon Coast to Dartmoor Aerial Investigation and Mapping (formerly NMP) Survey, Area 2, Avon Valley to Plymouth (Ref: ACD2040)

Date Last Edited:Jun 21 2021 1:27PM