REPORTS COVERING TORRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL 2016


Table 1 sets out the reports filed with Archaeological Data Services for 2016.  The reports are discussed in a little more detailed in alphabetical order of parish.  A brief synthesis of the findings of 2016 completes the document.



Table 1 Summary of reports for 2016






















































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Thus some 23 sites were examined, with one site generating three reports and 19 parishes were involved.  A total of 8 commercial organisations were involved, with South West Archaeology producing 13 reports; AB Heritage, and AC Archaeology each producing 3 reports; Thames Valley Archaeological Services produced two reports and Architectural History Practice, Cotswold Archaeology, Laing-Tengrove and Substrata each produced a single report.  The most common forms of development generating reports in 2016 were residential development, either of small estates or conversions of redundant farm buildings.  Just three reports were associated with wind turbine sites.



Reports


1. Abbots Bickington: Youlden Farm


The report concerned monitoring and recording at a wind turbine site on Youlden Farm in the west of the parish and about 2.0 km WSW of the parish church.  An undated small pit and a pair of ditches flanking an existing hedge bank were the only features encountered and no finds were recovered from these.


2.  Abbotsham: Kenwith Castle


The report concerned a general impact assessment and gradiometry survey of land at Kenwith Castle, right on the parish boundary with Northam and about 1 km NNE of Abbotsham village.  The report was commissioned ahead of another phase of residential development at Kenwith Castle. Previous phases had seen reports also produced by South West Archaeology.  Kenwith Castle house is an eighteenth century Grade II Listed Building and within the landscaped ground lies Kenwith Castle mound, a probably natural feature, modified by human action.  The previous work suggested that landscaping carried out in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had been accompanied by field drainage.   The site covered by this report lies to the west of the house and beyond its immediate environs.  The gradiometry survey found field drains and the remains of historic field enclosures.  The report concluded that the proposed development would have little impact on the historic landscape, which had already been compromised by much earlier unsympathetic development.


3.  Beaford: Brealy’s Farm


The report was a Heritage Statement for work on a Listed Building to convert a barn into a residential property.  Brealey’s Farm lies about 1.2km NW of Beaford village.  The farmhouse itself is a Grade II Listed Building, probably dating from the mid seventeenth century.  The barn is constructed of stone rubble  and was used for threshing and appears to have been a nineteenth century reconstruction of an earlier building.  The report concluded that the building was of interest and that the proposed conversion was sympathetic and would retain its character, whilst not detracting from the setting of the farmhouse Listed Building.

  

4.  Bideford: 17 Honestone Street


The building is currently the Quaker Meeting House and the report is an evaluation of its character within the Conservation Area.  No research was done into the building’s history prior to its acquisition by the Quakers and the building itself was regarded as of limited interest and not worthy of consideration for Listed Building status .




5.  Bideford: 65 Meddon Street


The report concerns a barn lying within a site at 65 Meddon Street, on the south side, which was to be redeveloped for housing.  A desk-based study, building recording and archaeological monitoring were carried out.  The barn itself proved to be structurally unsound and most was demolished.  The site lies just outside the Bideford Conservation Area and appears from documentary evidence to have been first occupied perhaps in the seventeenth century, as was confirmed by archaeological finds.  The barn was  principally a nineteenth century rubble built structure.  Under its floor in buried soils were found fragments of clay-pipes and bottle-glass of the eighteenth century. Elsewhere on the site were found many sheds of seventeenth and eighteenth century pottery, with much North Devon gravel-tempered ware and significant quantities of North Devon sgraffito ware.  It was considered that much of the pottery was domestic waste and may not have originated on the site, nor even within Meddon Street itself. Other finds were of nineteenth century and later domestic pottery and probably linked to use of the garden as a market garden at that time.

  

6.  Bradford: Dunsland Cross


The report follows an earlier general assessment of the site for three wind turbines on the east side of the A3079, about 0.7 km south of Dunsland Cross.  The report details a gradiometry survey carried out across 3.8 ha of the site.  The earlier study suggested that there was little of any archaeological interest on the site.  The gradiometry survey found an historic field boundary and some field drains.  All around the site is wet culm grassland with very limited agricultural potential and so the absence of archaeology is not unexpected.


7.  Bradworthy: Mill Road


The report is a desk-based assessment of a site on the NE edge of the village ahead of a development of 28 houses.   The field boundaries suggest medieval strip field enclosures but only limited pervious archaeological work has been done in and around Bradworthy.  A primary function of the report was to assess the impact of the proposed development and it concluded that as the existing field boundaries were due to be respected, there would be only a low impact.

8.  Buckland Brewer: Southwood Meadow (3 reports)


The reports concerned a site about 200 metres ENE of Buckland Brewer church to be developed for housing.  The first was a desk-based study, the second a magnetometry survey, and the third, by a different contractor, involved archaeological evaluation through trial trenches.  The first noted that a crop mark in the NW corner of the site had been seen and that the field boundaries had been altered since the Tithe Map.  It concluded that there was considerable potential for archaeological remains to lie within the area.  The magnetometry survey was intended to see if there were features of archaeological significance.  The area of the crop marks produced results suggesting parallel ditches and could be interpreted as a sub-rectangular enclosure of unknown date.  It was felt that this area merited further investigation, which was the aim of the third report.  Ten trenches were dug and nothing was found to suggest any surviving archaeological remains of the possible enclosure, although it was considered that this could have been ploughed out since the first sighting of the crop marks.  Four ditches were also found, almost certainly associated with former boundaries of a late medieval field system.   One of the ditches yielded a range of sherds of mid sixteenth to eighteenth century pottery, most gravel tempered and one piece probably of South Somerset ware.


9. Clovelly: All Saints Church


The report was occasioned by the construction of a new footpath and  restoration work on the tower and roof of All Saint’s church, which lies adjacent to Clovelly Court and about 1 km to the W of the village proper.  No archaeology was revealed in a test pit on the site of the footpath and monitoring of the roof and tower showed the roof to have been extensively restored in the nineteenth century, with lathes all having been replaced at this time.  The wall plate at the east end of the chancel showed a fifteenth century oak roof truss.  

10.  Great Torrington: Church Lane



The report was produced as a piece of monitoring on the site adjacent to Great Torrington church in the heart of the town.  The development entailed the demolition of a boundary wall and ground-works for a new dwelling house.  Beneath the topsoil a pit and a gully or ditch, both of probable post-medieval date, were found.  Both contained pottery sherds, principally of nineteenth or twentieth century industrially produced slipware, a single sherd of post-medieval North Devon gravel-tempered ware and two sherds of post-medieval North gravel-free ware.  Two fragments of clay pipes were also found.  Nothing was of any great significance and none of the finds were retained.



11.  Great Torrington: 13 High Street


A desk-based assessment, historic building recording and archaeological monitoring were done for this site as part of its redevelopment for two new houses and the re-use of the existing outbuildings.  The site itself was a medieval town plot and the principal house is a Grade II Listed Building.  The site yielded some medieval pottery but present house and the initial set of outbuildings probably represented reconstruction or new building following presumed damage during the English Civil War. Monitoring of trenches dug for the footings for the new buildings revealed cobbled surfaces and several disturbed layers in which some 58.8kg of pottery were recovered.  A few sherds (52) were of  medieval North Devon coarse ware, 16.2kg were post medieval North Devon coarse ware but there was  also a great deal of nineteenth century transfer printed pottery.  Of the remaining pottery there were sherds of seventeenth century sgraffito ware and North Devon slipware and a few sherds of imported pottery including German stoneware, Italian red slipware, Portuguese coarse ware, Saintoinge white ware and fragments of Spanish micaceous olive oil jars.  The presence of this imported pottery suggests that the property was of high status and/or in the occupation of a merchant.

    

12.  Great Torrington: Bluecoat School, Whites Lane


The report was a watching brief on the former school site where the school was to be converted into 5 dwellings and a further 8 new houses were to be built within the confines of the site.  This lies about 250 metres to the W of the Square at the heart of Great Torrington.  The school itself had been the subject of historic building survey in 2013 and a trial trench had also been excavated with pottery from the medieval to the nineteenth century recovered.  It was thought that a burgage boundary ditch had also been revealed but that no earlier building had occupied the actual school site.  During this watching brief no archaeology was revealed and little additional knowledge could be added to that contained in the earlier report.  


13.  Hartland: Gorvin Farm


The report was an archaeological evaluation following a desk-based study of 2013 and geophysical survey of 2014 that suggested possible archaeological features were present on this site for a wind turbine.  Gorvin Farm lies within Hartland parish (wrongly catalogued by ADS as being within Woolsery parish) but 4.5 km WSW of Woolsery village and nearly 6km SSE of Hartland.   Two of the anomalies found by the 2014 geophysical survey were considered to be potential archaeological features, a possible ring ditch and a pit.  The former was not revealed by any of the trial trenches and the latter proved to be a quarry pit that had been back-filled with loose stone.  All the other anomalies could be explained as ditches and tracks shown on the OS Six Inch Map of the late nineteenth century but not on the earlier The Map.  



14.  Hartland: Higher Velley Farm


The report was a desk-based assessment, Historic Building recording and archaeological monitoring carried out as part of the conversion of redundant farm buildings to residential use.  Higher Velley farm is of probable medieval origin, although the extant farm-house is of presumed nineteenth century age and is not listed.  Higher Velley is one of the many farmsteads scattered through the large parish of Hartland and it lies close to the eastern boundary, about 3.5km from Hartland itself.  Two of the outbuildings contained late medieval fabric but the others and the farm-house itself were presumed to have destroyed any traces of earlier buildings.  The Ordnance Survey map and the Devon Historic Environment Record give Higher Velley as the site of the medieval chapel of St Leonards, but nothing of this came to light either in the building recording or in trenches dug for ground works.  One piece of high quality stone work was found in one of the barns but this had clearly been moved and incorporated in the fabric and so gave no indication as to the possible site of St Leonard’s chapel, although probably lending support to the existence of such a chapel somewhere nearby.  Considerable quantities of pottery were recovered but the overwhelming majority of this was of post-medieval date but the few sherds of medieval ware support the continuous occupation of the site since it first appeared in the documentary record in the thirteenth century


15.  Hollacombe: St Petroc’s Church


The report concerned archaeological monitoring and recording as work to construct new rainwater drains at St Petroc’s church was undertaken.  The church lies in the heart of the small village of Hollacombe, about 3 km ESE of Holsworthy.  A single trench was excavated which showed the probable nineteenth century foundations for the church tower restoration work and three sherds of pottery were recovered.  One was of medieval gravel-tempered North Devon ware and 2 were of post-medieval North Devon gravel tempered ware.   



16.  Holsworthy:  Winsford House, Fry Street


The report was of archaeological monitoring and recording for ground works during the construction of a new dwelling house.  The site lies within the Holsworthy Conservation Area and within the zone where burghal plots can be seen from modern mapping.  Much of the site had received topsoil to level it but in a sealed context, two sherds of North Devon gravel tempered ware of the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries were found and some eighteenth century North Devon coarse ware was found in unstratified contexts.  


17.  Huntshaw: Berry Castle


The voluntary group, Friends of Berry Castle, commissioned this gradiometry survey of Berry Castle as part of its aim to bring the management of the site back into a more sympathetic regime for the archaeology of this Scheduled Monument.  The land-owner, Clinton Devon Estates, had already agreed to clear-fell the sitka spruce which had been planted across the site and supports the aims of the Friends of Berry Castle.  Berry Castle is a presumed Iron Age enclosure on a hill spur running E-W about 1.3km SSW of Huntshaw church.  The geophysics confirmed that the enclosure was univallate, with an outer ditch and stone outer-facing to the earthen rampart.  The survey strongly pointed to the more northerly of two possible entrances on the E side as the principal one.  The geophysics on uneven ground to the NE of the site and beyond the boundaries of the Scheduled Monument did not suggest that this was anything to do with the enclosure and probably represented recent quarrying activity.   No firm conclusions could be drawn about the few anomalies within the area enclosed by the ramparts.  

   

18.  Northam: Daddon Hill


The report concerned evaluation trenches dug on a c 30 ha site following earlier desk-based and geophysical survey, which had identified several probable archaeological features.  The site lies about 1.2km SW of Northam church and is just beyond the boundary of the current built-up area and has planning permission for an extensive housing development.  The aim of the work was to elucidate the geophysical anomalies and allow for any necessary mitigation in the planned development.  The machine dug trenches were all aimed at the geophysical anomalies.  One of the curvilinear features picked up by the geophysics proved to be a stone-lined field drain but the other yielded 7 struck flint fragments and may well have been a barrow or house site.  Several of the trenches showed ditches of uncertain age but some yielded pottery.  A few sherds were of North Devon medieval coarse ware and Exeter fabric.  More was North Devon gravel-tempered ware from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries.  There was also a considerable volume of more modern pottery.  The work also found several shallow pits, some with charcoal, but this was not radio-carbon dated.

19.  Northam: Lenwood Cottage


The report concerns evaluation trenching at the site ahead of the construction of a replacement dwelling house.  The site lies about 1 km SW of Northam church and its immediate environs were considered to contain considerable archaeological potential.  As most of the site had been disturbed by a terrace constructed to build the modern Lenwood Cottage, little was found, although a small quantity of sherds of eighteenth and nineteenth century North Devon coarse ware was recovered from less disturbed areas.


20.  Northcott: Boyton Mill


The report was an Historic Building record as part of the conversion of some of the mill to a residential annexe.  The mill lies about 1 km NNE of Boyton village, which is in Cornwall, but the portion of the medieval parish of Boyton to the east of the Tamar now forms Northcott parish in Devon.  The present mill is of nineteenth century construction on the site of an earlier mill, which documentary sources suggest had two wheels.  In the late nineteenth century an open-fronted cart shed was added to the west end of the mill and early in the twentieth century a single story extension was built to the east.  The extensions were of rubble stone with slate roofs.  The planned conversion was to retain all the surviving features of the mill.


21.  Sheepwash: Pound House



The report was an archaeological watching brief during groundworks as part of reorganisation of this Grade II Listed Building occupying a site on the west side of Sheepwash Square.  Reorganisation involved the removal of twentieth century partition walls and a concrete floor.  Parts of a former cobbled floor survived beneath the concrete to the rear of the building.  It was considered that the rear range of the house might be earlier than the rest of the house, which is of nineteenth century origin.


22.  Winkleigh: Stars Barn, Chulmleigh Road


The report was of archaeological monitoring and recording during the dismantling of an old and subsequent erection of a new garage at this site, which lies immediately west of the motte and bailey (a Scheduled Monument) known as Castle Court on the NE edge of the historic core of Winkleigh village.  An area was excavated by machine under supervision but only recent (late nineteenth century onwards) shreds and glass were found, as was thought probable from the cartographic evidence that the site had been a garden throughout the nineteenth century.   



23.  Yarnscombe: Sparks               


The report was an Historic Building Recording and archaeological monitoring and recording occasioned by the conversion of barns to residential use at Sparks, itself a Grade II Listed Building on the S edge of the village.   The core of the barn was an eighteenth century structure built of cob and stone.  It was expanded in the nineteenth century with two lean-to stone extensions.  These latter extensions may have been contemporaneous with the remodelling and extension of the farm house itself.  There was nothing of great note in the barn and its extensions and no finds were recovered during the monitoring work.


Discussion


Many of the sites covered by reports in 2016 were in or close to the medieval cores of settlements.  However, there were relatively few finds and not much of significance other than to show a degree of continuity in settlement location.   Daddon Hill in Northam hinted at pre-medieval occupation of the rural landscape and the geophysical work at Berry Castle in Huntshaw was not able to shed a great deal of light on the function of this presumed Iron Age enclosure, although it did dismiss the possibility that it had a more elaborate entrance on the NE corner.


Parish

Site

Grid reference

Report Producer

Type of report

Nature of development

Abbots Bickington

Youldon Farm

SS 373 127

S W Archaeology

Archaeologic al monitoring & recording

Ground works for wind turbine

Abbotsham

Kenwith Castle

SS 433 274

S W Archaeology

Impact assessment & gradiometry survey

Housing development

Beaford

Brealeys Fram

SS 544 159

A C Archaeology

Heritage statement

Barn conversion to residential use

Bideford

17 Honestone Street

SS 452 265

Architectural History Practice

Assessment of non-listed building in Conservation Area

None

Bideford

65 Meddon Street

SS 452 263

S W Archaeology

Desk-based assessment, building recording & archaeological monitoring

Redevelopme nt of residential site

Bradford

Dunsland Cross

SS 452 263

S W Archaeology

Geophysical survey

Wind turbine site

Bradworthy

Mill Road

SS 326 144

A B Heritage

Desk-based assessment

Housing development

Buckland Brewer

Southwood  Meadow

SS 421 209

A B Heritage

Desk-based assessment

Housing development

Buckland Brewer

Southwood Meadow

SS421 209

A B Heritage

Geophysical survey

Housing development

Buckland Brewer

Southwood Meadow

SS421 209

Cotswold Archaeology

Archaeologic al evaluation

Housing development

Clovelly

All Saints church

SS310 251

S W Archaeology

Historic building recording & archaeological monitoring

New footpath and church restoration

Great Torrington

Church Lane

SS494 191

S W Archaeology

Archaeologic al monitoring and recording

New dwelling house

Great Torrington

13 High Street

SS 495 191

S W Archaeology

Desk-based assessment, historic building recording & archaeological monitoring

Site redevelopme nt for housing







Great Torrington

Bluecoat School, Whites Lane

SS 495 193

A C Archaeology

Archaeologic al watching brief

Housing development

Hartland

Gorvin Farm

SS289 196

Thames Valley Archaeological Services

Archaeologic al evaluation

Wind turbine

Hartland

Higher Velley Farm

SS295 245

S W Archaeology

Desk-based study, Historic Building recording & archaeological monitoring

Conversion of redundant barns to residential use

Hollacombe

St Petroc’s church

SS 377 030

S W Archaeology

Archaeologic al monitoring & recording

Drainage works in church yard

Holsworthy

Winsford House, Fry Street

SS344 038

S W Archaeology

Archaeologic al monitoring & recording

Groundworks for dwelling house

Huntshaw

Berry Castle

SS495 223

Substrata

Magnetometry survey

Site assessment within Scheduled Monument

Northam

Daddon Hill

SS439 286

Thames Valley Archaeological Services

Archaeologic al evaluation

Housing development

Northam

Lenwood Cottage

SS 441 282

S W Archaeology

Evaluation trenching

House construction

Northcott

Boyton Mill

SX921 331

Laing-Trengrove

Historic Building recording

Building conversion to residential use







Sheepwash

Pound House

SS 486 063

A C Archaeology

Archaeologic al watching brief

Groundworks associated with  building work

Winkleigh

Stars Barn, Chulmleigh Road

SS632 108

S W Archaeology

Archaeologic al monitoring & recording

Garage construction

Yarnscombe

Sparks

SS560 235

S W Archaeology

Historic Building recording & archaeological monitoring & recording

Conversion of barn to residential use

Promoting awareness of the archaeology and history of North Devon

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