HeritageGateway - Home

Login  |  Register
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.


HER Number:MDV103553
Name:Saxo-Norman and Late-Medieval Occupation at 61-65 Fore Street, Totnes

Summary

Saxo-Norman and late-medieval features were exposed during excavation in 1984/5.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 803 604
Map Sheet:SX86SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTotnes
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishTOTNES

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • HOLLOW (VIII to Early Medieval - 701 AD to 1399 AD)
  • PIT (VIII to Early Medieval - 701 AD to 1399 AD)
  • POST HOLE (VIII to Early Medieval - 701 AD to 1399 AD)
  • STAKE HOLE (VIII to Early Medieval - 701 AD to 1399 AD)
  • TENEMENT (VIII to Late Medieval - 701 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ARTEFACT (XI to XII - 1001 AD to 1200 AD)
  • BOUNDARY DITCH (XI to XII - 1001 AD to 1200 AD)
  • GULLY (Late Medieval - 1401 AD to 1539 AD)
  • LAYER (Late Medieval - 1401 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PIT (Late Medieval - 1401 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Late Medieval - 1401 AD to 1539 AD)

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1855-1895, First Edition 1:500 Town Map (Cartographic). SDV338879.

Map object also based on this source.

Davison, A. and Henderson, C.G., 1985, Excavations at Fore Street, Totnes, 1984-85, 60-61 (Article in Monograph). SDV340327.

The eastern suburb was the largest area of extra-mural settlement, and its position between the east gate and the waterfront (on the line of Warland and Ticklemore Street) would have favoured an origin at an early stage in the commercial development of the town.

The six tenements immediately outside the east gate share a common northern boundary which curves round to join the north-east corner of the town walls. Trial trenching in December 1994 demonstrated that no defensive ditch existed on this line in the medieval period. The plot containing 65 Fore Street and Little Priory is 65 metres long being the easternmost member of this block of burgages. From their position close to the gate one might expect these tenements to have been laid out at an early date. Unfortunately only a limited area of medieval levels behind 65 Fore Street was excavated, and very little of the front half of the plot could be sampled. Nevertheless it is probable that the eastern boundary of this plot existed by the late 11th century since it was apparently respected at that time by a ditch defining the north side of a shorter tenement adjoining it on the east. Figure 38, 1.

It was possible to investigate medieval levels over a larger area of the eastern tenement, now occupied by 61-63 Fore Street, although no excavation was undertaken close to the street frontage. Traces of Saxo-Norman excavation were found immediately within the northern boundary ditch, which defined a plot 40 metres deep. The ditch was probably associated with a hedge or boundary feature which left no trace. It was recut once before being replaced by a second ditch on a slightly different alignment, also recut once. The area to the south of the ditch contained a mass of post-holes and stake-holes, a number of small pits and a shallow depression. The pottery recovered from both of the boundary ditches and these features can be dated to broadly the 11th or 12th centuries. However, the presence of several sherds of late Saxon wheel-thrown pottery made in a kiln at Exeter (Bedford Garage Ware) suggests occupation commencing in the 11th century: manufacture of this pottery probably ceased by 1100.

Intercutting rubbish pits are absent in the excavated part of the Fore Street tenement, probably because rubbish was probably spread over fields behind the tenement rendering rubbish pits unnecessary. There may have also been access from the tenement to the adjacent fields, since there is a gap between the western end of the northern boundary ditch and the putative boundary to the west. This tenement may have been one of the burgesses attested in Domesday, although suburban tenements may have existed which were not held by burgage tenure.

Late medieval occupation behind Little Priory was attested by post-holes, pits, gullies and spreads of garden soil.

Map object also based on this source.

Helen Rance, 2012, 61-65 Fore Street, Totnes (Personal Comment). SDV350805.

The description of 'late medieval occupation behind Little Priory was attested by post-holes, pits, gullies and spreads of garden soil' within source MDV340327 appears to be incorrect from the plans in Figure 38. The Saxon and medieval features are not shown behind Little Priory and they appear to be located further to the east, unless a plan of late medieval features behind Little Priory have not been depicted.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

Pink, F., 2014, Devon Extensive Urban Survey Project. Rapid Assessment of Archaeological Interventions (Report - non-specific). SDV357343.

An excavation was undertaken at 61-65 Fore Street, Totnes by the Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit in 1985.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV338879Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1855-1895. First Edition 1:500 Town Map. First Edition 1:500 Town Map. Map (Digital).
SDV340327Article in Monograph: Davison, A. and Henderson, C.G.. 1985. Excavations at Fore Street, Totnes, 1984-85. Exeter Archaeology 1984/5. A4 Stapled + Digital. 60-61.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #63060 ]
SDV350805Personal Comment: Helen Rance. 2012. 61-65 Fore Street, Totnes. Not Applicable.
SDV357343Report - non-specific: Pink, F.. 2014. Devon Extensive Urban Survey Project. Rapid Assessment of Archaeological Interventions. AC Archaeology Report. ACD473/1/1. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV9107Related to: Chapel of St Nicholas, Fore Street, Totnes (Building)
MDV56362Related to: Dovecote, 61-65 Fore Street, Totnes (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6636 - Excavation, 61-65 Fore Street, Totnes

Date Last Edited:Sep 23 2019 2:29PM