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HER Number:MDV57702
Name:Catch meadow south of Westley Manor, Mamhead and Ashcombe

Summary

A water meadow of probable post-medieval to 19th century date is visible on aerial photographs of 1946 to 2007 as curvilinear earthwork ditches on the south and south-west facing combe slopes south of Westley Manor, Mamhead and Ashcombe. The ditches have probably been levelled.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 925 798
Map Sheet:SX97NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAshcombe
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishASHCOMBE

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Leat channels of watermeadow system to east of Oakpark wood

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX97NW/198
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CATCH MEADOW (Post Medieval to XX - 1540 AD to 1946 AD (Between))

Full description

FIELD CENTRE, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV309917.

The system, consisting of a number of channels which follow the contours of the hillsides, runs nw from the field immediately nw of the crossroads at sx92857925 (field centre), across a field boundary & the parish boundary (not marked but just visible as a low bank), to westley manor farm at c. Sx92658000. There are also channels which follow the contours s to w around the slopes sw of the farm.


AND ANOTHER FAINT CHANNEL JUST BELOW THE SECOND, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV309918.

At the s end of the system, immediately nw of the crossroads, there are 3 distinct channels to the w of the stream (and another faint channel just below the second) c.1.5m wide x c.0.4m deep (on upper side) - placed 20-25m apart. There is one channel on the opposite slope e of the stream. Further n a fourth channel appears on the w side - and a second channel on the e side, with 2 gullies at right angles which run down to the stream. The channels on the w side become less distinct & fewer approaching the n field boundary, although there is one clear e/w gully at right angles with the channels, running down to the stream.


FORMING THE PARISH BOUNDARY, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV309919.

To the n of the field boundary, there are 4 channels to the e of the stream, and as the stream turns westwards (forming the parish boundary) there are another 3 distinct channels following the contours around the slope to the n of the stream & immediately sw of westley manor farm.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV309921.

Des=ea/(14/3/1997)/haldon ridge survey.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV309922.

Manning, p. T. + walmsley, l. P. /devon county council haldon ridge archaeological survey phase ii/(1997)12; no 367/(ea report 97.43).


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV79.

Vis=14/3/1997 (ea) water meadow system to w of road which runs n from crossroads at ashcombe war memorial, to westley manor farm and beyond.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1412, RAF/106G/UK/1412 RP 3077-3078 13-APR-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352504.

Curvilinear ditches were visible as earthworks.


Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/CPE/UK/1824, RAF/CPE/UK/1824 RP 4067-4068 04-NOV-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352344.

Curvilinear ditches were visible as earthworks.


Devon County Council, 1984, DAP/AQ, Devon County Council DAP/AQ 2 02-JUL-1984 (Aerial Photograph). SDV286385.

Curvilinear ditches were visible as earthworks.


Bluesky, 2006 - 2007, Bluesky aerial photographs 2006 - 2007, Devon County Council 2006-2007 Aerial Photograph mosaic (Aerial Photograph). SDV341189.

Curvilinear ditches were visible as earthworks.


Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC, 2015-2017, 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs, Devon County Council 2015-7 Aerial Photograph mosaic (Aerial Photograph). SDV361462.

The ditches were not visible as earthworks.


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.

Seven curvilinear ditches are identifiable on aerial photographs of 1946 as earthworks either side of the stream on the south and south-west facing combe slopes south of Westley Manor, Mamhead and Ashcombe. The earthworks are roughly parallel, less than 2m wide and spaced circa 15 to 25m apart, closely following the contours over circa 3.2ha of combe slope. They vary in length but measure up to circa 250m long.
The earthworks are interpreted as the remains of a catch meadow of probable post-medieval to 19th century date, a form of water meadow irrigation popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries but which originated in the medieval period. The ditches, known as gutters, ‘caught’ water flowing from the top gutter, or ‘head main’ and evenly distributed it over the slopes.
The gutters remained visible as earthworks on digital images derived from aerial photographs of 2006-7, but could not be seen on 2015 images and have probably been levelled.
Further gutters, possibly part of a separate system are visible 300m to the south.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV286385Aerial Photograph: Devon County Council. 1984. DAP/AQ. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). Devon County Council DAP/AQ 2 02-JUL-1984.
SDV309917Migrated Record: FIELD CENTRE.
SDV309918Migrated Record: AND ANOTHER FAINT CHANNEL JUST BELOW THE SECOND.
SDV309919Migrated Record: FORMING THE PARISH BOUNDARY.
SDV309921Migrated Record:
SDV309922Migrated Record:
SDV341189Aerial Photograph: Bluesky. 2006 - 2007. Bluesky aerial photographs 2006 - 2007. Bluesky. Photograph (Digital). Devon County Council 2006-2007 Aerial Photograph mosaic.
SDV352344Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/CPE/UK/1824. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/CPE/UK/1824 RP 4067-4068 04-NOV-1946.
SDV352504Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1412. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/106G/UK/1412 RP 3077-3078 13-APR-1946. [Mapped feature: #114775 ]
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.
SDV361462Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 2015-2017. 2015-2017 Aerial Photographs. Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. Photograph (Digital). Devon County Council 2015-7 Aerial Photograph mosaic.
SDV79Migrated Record:

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 8 2019 10:58AM