Thus some 19 sites were examined in 16 parishes.  A total of 6 commercial organisations were involved, with South West Archaeology producing 13 reports, AC Archaeology producing 2 reports and Context One Archaeology, Peninsula Archaeology,  R W Parker Associates, and Wessex Archaeology producing 1 each.  Half of the proposed developments were for wind turbines.


1.  Abbotsham: The Thatched Inn

The report covered a watching brief during refurbishment and an extension of the village pub.  On the site of the extension, the overburden removed proved to have been almost entirely modern and when the presumed initial surface was reached, nothing of archaeological interest was found.

2.  Ashwater: Swingdon Farm

The report covered a proposed wind turbine site at Swingdon Farm, some 3.5km NW of Ashwater village and about 2km ESE of Clawton village.  Map evidence showed that the site had been part of Sandworthy Moor, an area of unenclosed upland grazing until the early nineteenth century.  The wind turbine site is surrounded by 10 bowl-barrows, but none is affected by the proposed development.  A geophysics survey of the entire site produced no probable archaeology, although some old field boundaries, relating to the nineteenth century enclosure of Sandworthy Moor were revealed.  Field walking produced no finds.  Visual impact of the turbines on archaeological and historic sites was generally neutral or negative/minor in a few cases.

3.  Bideford: Caddsdown

The report was a pre-development appraisal, using documentary and cartographic evidence, of a site on the western approach to Bideford from the A39. The Historic Landscape Characterisation had suggested that the area was one of medieval enclosures of strip fields. Successive maps in the nineteenth century showed considerable changes to field boundaries from c 1840 to c1890.  To the SW of the site a small farm at Ginnetts was shown in early maps but this too has been lost.  The documentary record shows nothing of any archaeological significance.

4.  Bideford: 40 Meddon Street

The report covers monitoring and recording on land to the rear of 40 Meddon Street during its re-development and subsequent erection of a single dwelling.  The site was probably a sub-division of a medieval burgage plot.  Monitoring took the form of a test pit and the close scrutiny of foundation trenches as they were dug.  No major archaeology was found but the trenches and pit yielded some shards of pottery.  One was of North Devon medieval coarse ware and 2 larger and 2 far smaller shards were of eighteenth century North Devon gravel-tempered ware. There was also one shard of nineteenth century North Devon gravel-tempered ware.

5.  Bideford: Cleave Wood, East-the-Water

The report concerns a site on the hills above East-the-Water, adjoining known sites of nineteenth century extractive and industrial use.  It is bisected by Manteo Way, the modern access road to the East-the-Water industrial estates.  The report covers desk-based analysis and walk-over survey.  Map evidence shows that there was no recorded industrial use c 1840 but subsequently parts of the site were used for a Paint Works and just to the north there was quarrying and mining for Bideford Black, the pigment used in the paint factory.  A track-way was found on the site, along with a cistern and water channel.  Given the industrial history of East-the-Water, the site yielded surprisingly little.

6.  Bridgerule: Tatson Farm

The site lies in the Tamar east bank part of Bridgerule parish, about 2 km east of the village centre.  The site was proposed as the location of single wind-turbine.  The site formed part of a medieval farm and hamlet complex.  The precise history of the settlement of Dux, of which Tatson Farm formed a part, is not clear.  Other similar settlements in northern Devon saw phases of expansion when a founding farm was subdivided, and later contraction and consolidation, when population fell following amalgamation or rationalisation of farms.  No recorded evidence of archaeology on the site was found and walk-over survey added no further information.  The local landscape has only limited archaeology within a five kilometre radius, although almost all of this is post-medieval.  A visual impact survey showed that most were neutral or negative/minor, although those on St Bridget’s church in Bridgerule and a bowl barrow near Dux were rated as negative/moderate.       

7.  Cookbury: Bishop’s Farm

The report is for a proposed wind turbine on land at Bishop’s Farm, just off the A3072 east of Holsworthy and about 1 km east of Anvil Corner.  It was based on desk-study, geophysical survey, evaluation trenches and field walk-over. Unusually for sites in NW Devon, there was a good documentary record from the early modern period.  The land had comprised part of Stapledon, a known medieval settlement in a landscape of piecemeal enclosures of strip fields.  Leases of the early seventeenth century record a decayed settlement at Walland and this land is part of a tenement in the Tithe Survey called Walland Agistment.  An agistment is usually land which receives livestock from neighbouring farms during summer.  In 1799 a map was made of the manor of Stapledon for the owners, the Misses May (who continued to be significant land-owners in Cookbury at the time of the Tithe Survey).  One of the fields in the estate map of 1799 was called Town Place, which is interpreted as being the site of the decayed settlement of nearly two hundred years earlier.  Geophysical survey of the actual turbine site seemed to show the old manor house and a triple-ditched enclosure.  Geophysical survey was extended to cover more of the land and this generated two further ring-ditches in the NW.  The Historic Environment Record shows a bowl barrow nearby and the two ring ditches could be further examples.  Two evaluation trenches were dug on the site of the turbine base.  Trench 1 showed linear features corresponding to the geophysical survey and were interpreted as former field boundaries. Trench two exposed several post holes.  The ditch fill yielded two fragments of Romano-British gabbroic ware.  The triple-ditched enclosure is probably best now interpreted as having experienced Roman-British occupation, even if it may have been established contemporaneously with the probable Bronze Age ring-ditches nearby.  The site is thus noteworthy in establishing probable Roman-British occupation in this part of North West Devon.  The visual impact assessment concluded that most impacts would be neutral or negative/minor but that on St Petrock’s church at Hollacombe was rated as negative/substantial and negative/moderate impacts were expected at three medieval farm sites and on the churches in Cookbury itself, Holsworthy and Thornbury.  

8.  East Putford: Raleigh

The report concerned renovations to a listed building.  Concrete floors were removed.  The original soil levels were exposed but no features were seen and only modern glazed pottery was found.  The site may have been that of one of the original farms of the parish and the floor plan hints at it having perhaps been a long-house.

9.  Hartland: Higher Brownsham

The report was a desk-based study and historic building recording of work being carried out at Brownsham, a hamlet in Hartland parish, some 3 km NE of Hartland village.  Renovation work involved removal of render on the north-east elevation of the building and allowed a new interpretation of the evolution of the building to be formed.  The original building is thought to be early seventeenth century and was extended in the mid-seventeenth century.  In the mid-nineteenth century, the upper end of the house was rebuilt as a barn. A quantity of seventeenth century plaster-work survives, especially on the ceiling of a first floor room.

10.  High Bickington: St Mary’s Church

The report details a survey of the roof of the church as part of repair work.  One aspect was the removal of slates and lead work to expose the original wall toppings and allow these to be examined for evidence of earlier roof structures and possible development of the church itself.  The church proved to be complex in its structure and visible discontinuities in the masonry in the walls did not coincide with apparent discontinuities in the roof structures.  Richard Parker, the report’s author, tentatively suggested a five phase evolution of the church (shown in figures 32 and 33).

11. Monkleigh: Barton Meadow

The report concerns a pre-development appraisal of a site within Monkleigh village where a small estate of houses was to be built.  Documentary sources were consulted and a previous geophysical survey was used to identify locations for four evaluation trenches.  Most of the anomalies from this earlier geophysical survey proved to be modern pipes.  Only in trench 2 was there any significant archaeology, a ditch probably relating to a field boundary made redundant by rationalisation in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries.  Shards of North Devon medieval coarse-ware were found and dated to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and further shards of post-Medieval North Devon gravel-tempered ware were found.  The top-soil yielded shards of eighteenth and nineteenth century North Devon gravel-tempered ware and nineteenth century clay pipe stems.


12.  Northam: St Margaret’s church

The report accompanied works in the church to lower raised plinths beneath the pews and to renew and modify the below floor heating system.  The church is largely of fifteenth century construction, although the base of the tower may be earlier.  A north aisle was added in 1593 and the whole structure was extensively restored between 1849 and 1865.  Plans for this reordering exist but no record exists of the church as it was before.  In Martha’s Corner in the NW of the church, a brick vault was uncovered that appeared to be just earlier than the mid-nineteenth century reordering.  An engraved slate slab was found with one of the names, Margaret Wren being commemorated in a stained glass window at the west end of the north aisle.


13.  Pancrasweek: Virworthy Farm

The report is of a watching brief during excavation of a cable service trench to a wind-turbine at Virworthy Farm, about 6 km SW of Bradworthy village.  The Historic Environment Record has a probable medieval oval enclosure to the north of the farm.  The cable trench cuts through fields within this enclosure.  No dating evidence for the hedge-banks was found.  Top-soil for the cable trench yielded two shards of medieval North Devon gravel tempered ware, one appeared to be from a cooking pot.

14.  Peters Marland: Marland Primary School

The report was predevelopment appraisal of playing fields adjacent to the primary school where it was intended to construct a new sports hall.  The report covers a review of documentary evidence and evaluation of three trial trenches.  The site was considered to be close to or perhaps part of a medieval manorial complex and previously medieval pottery had been found nearby.  Nothing was shown by any of the trial trenches and no artefacts were found.

15.  Pyworthy: East Balsdon Farm

The report covered desk study of the site, walk-over and visual impact evaluation of a wind-turbine.  The actual site is 3 km SSW of Pyworthy village and formed a part of the lands of the medieval hamlet of Tinney.  The site of the turbine lies on an old enclosed common, which was shown parcelled up on the Tithe Map.  Walk-over produced no archaeology.  The Historic Environment Record contains few locations within visual range of the turbine.  The visual impact survey assessed most impacts as neutral or negative/minor and only St Bridget’s church in Bridgrule and the two bowl barrows on Affland Moor had a negative/moderate impact.

16.  St Giles-on-the-Heath: Hollow Panson Farm

The report concerned 9 trial trenches dug at Hollow Panson Farm following an earlier geophysical survey that had shown a number of anomalies.  The site is approximately 1 km east of the A388 and about 2.5km north of St Giles-on-the-Heath village and the proposed development was of 6 wind turbines.  Desk-study showed a number of locations nearby that featured in the Historic Environment Record, including a probable Roman0-British enclosure some 350 metres SW of the site.  Also nearby on and around Henford Moor, there was evidence of a medieval field system with probable later encroachments on Henford Moor itself.   The trial trenches yielded no archaeology and top soil gave just a single piece of worked flint.

17.  Winkleigh: Bryony Hill Farm

The report comprised desk-based assessment, geophysical survey and site walk-over and visual impact assessment for a single wind turbine to be erected on land at Bryony Hill Farm, at the western edge of the parish and about 2.5km west of Winkleigh village.  The farm building itself is a Grade II listed structure, although it appears that the lands were part of the early nineteenth century holding of Hill.  Geophysical survey showed a number of anomalies that could be of archaeological origin, most probably being linear features suggesting that they were former field boundaries .  The report concluded that there was little or no archaeological interest within the site.   The visual impact assessment estimated most impacts to be neutral or negative/minor.  Three historic farmhouses and a cottage together with the churches of All Saints, Winkleigh, All Hallows, Broadwoodkelly and St James, Iddesleigh had negative/moderate impacts.

18. Winkleigh: Linden House, Castle Street

The report concerned the erection of a dwelling house adjacent to Linden House, within the historic core of the village of Winkleigh.  In the Tithe Survey of 1843, the site was undeveloped and the paucity of finds in the top-soil and service trenches would suggest that the site had not had substantial use in the early modern period.  A gully and ditch was found in the NE corner of the site and this appeared to have been abandoned in the late medieval or early modern period.  Pottery fragments of sixteenth and seventeenth century age were found.  A few pieces of medieval North Devon tempered and gravel free ware were found but from the fill in later contexts.

19.  Woolfardisworthy: Higher Fordmill Farm

The report concerns the erection of a single wind-turbine within Higher Fordmill Farm, Woolfardisworthy, about 3 km due South of Woolfardisworthy village.  The report details desk-based study, walk-over survey, geophysical survey and a visual impact assessment.  Fordmill is one of the medieval hamlets of Woolfardisworthy parish and probably had its own open field system.  The present farmstead is eighteenth century.  Walk-over survey showed little and the Historic Environment Record contains few entries for the slightly wider area.  Geophysical survey showed linear anomalies that were probably former field boundaries.   The visual impact assessment suggested that most impacts would be neutral or negative/minor and for only the old manor house in Woolfardisworthy and the bowl barrow near Higher Narracott would the impact be negative/moderate.


The Historic Environment Record for Torridge District contains relatively few entries and the work at the various sites across the district in 2013 added little to that which was already known.  In most cases the archaeology confirmed medieval occupation of sites and showed removal of field boundaries, especially since the mid-nineteenth century.   Bishops Farm at Cookbury contains the most interesting new information and strongly suggests that this is another site with Romano-British occupation in an area with little other possible archaeology from this period.  It is also notable that the visual impact assessments of the wind turbines proposed were generally rated as neutral or negative/minor impacts on archaeological and historic sites, reflecting both the relative paucity of such sites in Torridge and the blocking effects of the undulating topography.  Almost all the impacts rated as negative/moderate were on parish churches, the only other structures as tall as wind turbines.


Table 1 sets out the reports filed with Archaeological Data Services at York relating to 2013.  The reports are then discussed in a little more detail, in alphabetical order of parish, as in Table 1.   A brief synthesis of the findings of 2013 completes the document.           

Table 1: Summary of reports for 2013



Grid reference

Report Producer

Type of report

Nature of development


Thatched Inn

SS 425 266

A C Archaeology

Watching brief

Building & extension


Swingdon Farm

SX 375 983

S W Archaeology

Desk-based; walk-over; visual impact assessment

Wind turbine



SS 434 249

S W Archaeology

Desk-based, walk-over

Pre-development appraisal


40 Meddon Street

SS 452 264

S W Archaeology

Archaeological monitoring and recording

Redevelopment and construction of a dwelling


Cleave Wood, Manteo Way

SS 471 261

S W Archaeology

Desk-based; walk-over

Medium scale residential


Tatson Farm

SS 281 018

S W Archaeology

Desk-based; walk-over; visual impact assessment

Wind turbine


Bishop’s Farm

SS 382 044

S W Archaeology

Desk-based; geophysics; evaluation trenches; walk-over; visual impact assessment

Wind turbine

East Putford


SS 368 164

Peninsula Archaeology

Desk-based;  watching brief & recording

Renovation of house


Higher Brownsham House

SS 285 260

S W Archaeology

Archaeological recording; desk-based

Renovation of house

High Bickington

St Mary’s church

SS 599 205

R W Parker Historic Building Recording

Building recording

Repair and renovation


Monkleigh Barton Meadow

SS457 208

S W Archaeology

Archaeological evaluation & evaluation trenches

Small scale residential development


St Margaret’s church

SS 449 291

S W Archaeology

Desk-based; historic building assessment; archaeological monitoring

Internal reorganisation and new heating system


Virworthy Farm

SX 311 105

A C Archaeology

Watching brief

Wind turbine

Peters Marland

Marland Primary School

SS 478 136

Context One Archaeological Services

Desk-based; trenches

Construction of sports hall


East Balsdon Farm

SX 288 999

S W Archaeology

Desk-based; walk-over; visual impact

Wind turbine

St Giles-on-the-Heath

Hollow Panson Farm

SX 364 927

Wessex Archaeology

Archaeological evaluation

6 wind turbines



Grid reference

Report Producer

Type of report

Nature of development


Bryony Hill Farm

SS 600 082

S W Archaeology

Desk-based; geophysics; walk-over; visual impact assessment

Wind turbine


Linden House, Castle Street

SS 631 080

S W Archaeology

Watching brief

Construction of a dwelling

Woolfardiswort hy

Higher Fordmill Farm

SS 322 181

S W Archaeology

Desk-based; geophysics; walk-over, visual impact assessment

Wind turbine

Promoting awareness of the archaeology and history of North Devon

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