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Archaeologists widen search at South Devon Link Road site

By HeraldExpress  |  Posted: March 04, 2013

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Archaeologists carrying out investigations in advance of the construction of the South Devon Link Road, near Kingskerswell, Devon, have widened their search.

The archaeologists, who uncovered the remains of a 2000 year old Roman settlement and a stone-constructed medieval building in December last year, will now be undertaking a further assessment along the rest of the planned route of the new road, to establish archaeological potential.

Archaeologists have just discovered another medieval building at Edginswell Lane: pottery found at the site indicates that it dates to the 13th century, while the presence of extensive burnt material and debris within the interior hints that it may have been destroyed by fire around 1750-1800'.

It is hoped that the further search will uncover more detail around the medieval building as well as around the Roman settlement site at Aller Cross.

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The archaeological team, led by Simon Hughes of Bradninch-based AC archaeology, is carrying out the work on behalf of Devon County Council and Torbay Council.

Simon said: "This project has been really exciting and we're hoping that we uncover some high quality archaeological remains."

Steve Reed, from Devon County Council Historic Environment Team, is monitoring the works. He said: "Excavations on the known archaeological sites have been completed; further archaeological work will be undertaken along the rest of the road route in case further archaeological sites are affected by road construction works. 

"Archaeologists will investigate parts of the road route that have the highest potential for the presence of archaeological remains.  If archaeology is found then it will be investigated and recorded prior to the construction of the road itself."

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: "One of our key concerns throughout this project is to be environmentally aware and we are keen for the archaeological team to continue with its search.

"We do not anticipate that this will delay the construction process and we are looking forward to displaying the findings later this year."

Deputy Mayor and Executive Lead for Spatial Planning, Housing, Waste and Energy at Torbay Council, Councillor David Thomas, said:  "It is really good news that we are able to find out more about the history of the area whilst not affecting the timetable for the work.  

"I am sure that people will be following the progress of the archaeologists work over coming months and will look forward to seeing the artefacts so that they can learn more about these fascinating discoveries."

The archaeologists are due to finish the fieldwork in the early summer - the findings will then undergo detailed analysis.

Once the analysis and dating process is complete, a series of community talks and displays are planned. The talks, which will be held later this year, will allow members of the public to view artefacts, ask questions and gain an understanding into what has been uncovered.

The 5.5km dual carriageway, which will provide the long awaited bypass for Kingskerswell, was given full approval by the government in May – work began in October and is due to be completed by December 2015.

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