The Hinkley Point Archaeology Outreach team assisted with the recent community excavation in Curry Mallet, carried out by archaeologists from the South West Heritage Trust. Students, volunteers and local residents also got stuck in, learning a range of new skills and enjoying the chance to find out about ‘archaeology on your doorstep’.
The aim of the excavation was to see if we could discover anything related to the medieval origins of the village. The Lower Street area in the south of the parish contains properties ending at the church. The area of the west of the church known as Glebe Field, contains earthworks with traces of house platforms and enclosures. This may be the site of an early settlement. A geophysical survey of Glebe Field by local specialists ‘GeoFlo’, provided some clear targets for test pitting.
The Higher Street area in the north has medieval buildings clustered around a square area, which may have been a green in the medieval period. Test pitting also took place here in the grounds of the Manor Court.
We know that at the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, two estates were held as one manor by Roger de Courcelles. He was succeeded by the Malets. The manor passed to the Poinz and Gourney families and then to the Duchy of Cornwall.
The results of the excavation so far have been interesting. The main test pit in Glebe Field has shown evidence of a possible medieval moat and yielded fragments of pottery dating to the 11th and 13th centuries. Evidence from all the test pits show glimpses into everyday life from the last few hundred years: clay tobacco pipes, an ox shoe, a button and pieces of pottery.
Thank you to the residents of Curry Mallet for your support and enthusiasm!