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HER Number:MDV14234
Name:Skeletal Remains found at Newton Abbot Racecourse


An inhumation was found in 1842 during the construction of the Hackney Canal. A flint spearhead was found beside the skeleton and on the left arm a gold bracelet.


Grid Reference:SX 871 724
Map Sheet:SX87SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishKingsteignton
Ecclesiastical ParishKINGSTEIGNTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX87SE/38
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX87SE4

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • INHUMATION (Prehistoric - 698000 BC to 42 AD (Between))

Full description

1842, Remarkable Exhumation of a Human Skeleton, 5 (Article in Serial). SDV337803.

Other details: Column F.

Potts, E., 1869, Bardrick, King of the Teign, III (Monograph). SDV337796.

The skeleton was more than 6 feet high, lying due north and south. A flint spearhead (1869 - in Newton Abbot Museum) was found beside him. On left arm, a broad bracelet, 2 inches wide, of pure gold.

Ellis, W., 1883 - 1887, Untitled Source (Article in Serial). SDV337793.

WESTERN ANTIQUARY, 1884, 1884 Newspaper Article of Skeleton Recovered in 1841, Newton Road, Newton Abbot (Correspondence). SDV352387.

In the year 1841, when the excavation was being made for the Canal (now known as Hackney Canal), a skeleton was discoved at place within a few feet of the present road, leading to Newton Abbot; it was buried about 4 feet deep, apparently in a stooping or sitting position, and covered with water-stones. There was a gold ring or armlet on the left arm, which was presented to Lord Clifford (the Lord of the Manor), but my informant has no recollection of a spear-head being found. The skeleton was examined and placed in position by the late Dr Radley of Newton Abbot, and removed to the Belfrey of Kingsteington Church. An inquest was held, and finally the bones were buried in the Churchyard.

Hole, M. A., 1930, Sketches of Bovey Tracey and District, 81-82 (Monograph). SDV288939.

Skeleton in foetal position, with gold clasp bracelet around one wrist. Carefully interred and embedded in decomposed granite. Found whilst digging canal from Kingsteignton to the river.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953, SX87SE4 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV337795.

Mitchell, M., 1979, Ball Clay Survey of South Devon (Archive - Survey). SDV341500.

Other details: No. 87, Worksheet 1.

Grinsell, L. V., 1983, The Barrows of South and East Devon, 38 (Article in Serial). SDV337013.

Pearce, S. M., 1983, The Bronze Age Metalwork of South Western Britain, 447 (Monograph). SDV341822.

Whiteaway, T., 1996, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV337800.

A small newspaper cutting in Kingsteignton Museum, unreferenced and with the date 1842 added, reports 'in digging the new canal to the Teign from Kingsteignton, Devon, a skeleton was lately discovered with a gold clasp bracelet round the wrist'. No further reference attached.

Whiteaway, T., 1998, Human Remains (Worksheet). SDV337802.

Transcription attached of 1842 Times article on the human remains found during the cutting of the Hackney Canal.

Nowell, J., 2012, Penns Mount, Kingsteignton, Devon: Archaeological Desk Based Assessment, 10 (Report - Assessment). SDV351968.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV288939Monograph: Hole, M. A.. 1930. Sketches of Bovey Tracey and District. Sketches of Bovey Tracey and District. Unknown. 81-82.
SDV337013Article in Serial: Grinsell, L. V.. 1983. The Barrows of South and East Devon. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 41. Paperback Volume. 38.
SDV337793Article in Serial: Ellis, W.. 1883 - 1887. The Weekly Express. Unknown.
SDV337795Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953. SX87SE4. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV337796Monograph: Potts, E.. 1869. Bardrick, King of the Teign. Bardrick the King of the Teign.. Unknown. III.
SDV337800Personal Comment: Whiteaway, T.. 1996. Not Applicable.
SDV337802Worksheet: Whiteaway, T.. 1998. Human Remains. A4 Stapled.
SDV337803Article in Serial: 1842. Remarkable Exhumation of a Human Skeleton. The Times. A4 Stapled. 5.
SDV341500Archive - Survey: Mitchell, M.. 1979. Ball Clay Survey of South Devon. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Survey of the Ball Clay Industry of . Mixed Archive Material.
SDV341822Monograph: Pearce, S. M.. 1983. The Bronze Age Metalwork of South Western Britain. British Archaeological Reports. 120. Photocopy. 447.
SDV351968Report - Assessment: Nowell, J.. 2012. Penns Mount, Kingsteignton, Devon: Archaeological Desk Based Assessment. CgMs Consulting Report. 13961. A4 Stapled + Digital. 10.
SDV352387Correspondence: WESTERN ANTIQUARY. 1884. 1884 Newspaper Article of Skeleton Recovered in 1841, Newton Road, Newton Abbot. A4 Stapled + Digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds

  • FDV2019 - BRACELET (Prehistoric - 698000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FDV2018 - SPEAR (Prehistoric - 698000 BC to 42 AD)

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 14 2015 12:54PM