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HER Number:MDV41593
Name:Medieval Ditch at 121 Boutport Street, Barnstaple


Medieval ditch excavated at 121 Boutport Street in 1986.


Grid Reference:SS 557 334
Map Sheet:SS53SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBarnstaple
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBARNSTAPLE

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS53SE/390/1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

North Devon District Council Rescue Archaeology Unit, 1986, Interim Report on Small Sites Work, Barnstaple (Report - Interim). SDV90724.

Trench excavated to the rear of 121 Boutport Street in Barnstaple exposed a medieval ditch thought to be part of the medieval town defences. A 14th century northern French pot was recovered.

Youngs, S. M. + Clark, J. + Barry, T., 1986, Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1985, 110-91 (Article in Serial). SDV24583.

A trench excavated in 1986 on the presumed line of the town defences revealed a large ditch. Pottery analysis indicated a post 13th century date.

Western Morning News, 1987, Ancient works found in town (Article in Serial). SDV361410.

Remnants of Barnstaples ancient town defences have been unearthed. A small team of archaeologists found the 1000 year old earthworks in a back garden between Green Lane and Boutport Street. They may have once surrounded an Anglo-Saxon stockade which was known to have been later reinforced by a wall in Medieval times.

Express & Echo, 1987, Defence dug-up (Article in Serial). SDV361409.

Latest discoveries by archaeologists in Barnstaple have unearthed the town's earliest known defensive ditch.
The ditch parallel to Boutport Street is thought to be earlier than Saxon. It is believed to have been reinforced by a stone wall in Medieval times.
A small section of the wall was found in the 1920s but later covered.
The last remnant of the wall around Barnstaple the Northgate was demolished in 1842.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV24583Article in Serial: Youngs, S. M. + Clark, J. + Barry, T.. 1986. Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1985. Medieval Archaeology. 30. Unknown. 110-91.
SDV361409Article in Serial: Express & Echo. 1987. Defence dug-up. Express & Echo. A4 Single Sheet + Digital.
SDV361410Article in Serial: Western Morning News. 1987. Ancient works found in town. Western Morning News. A4 Single Sheet + Digital.
SDV90724Report - Interim: North Devon District Council Rescue Archaeology Unit. 1986. Interim Report on Small Sites Work, Barnstaple. North Devon District Council Rescue Archaeology Unit Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. [Mapped feature: #24684 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV38826Related to: 121 Boutport Street, Barnstaple (Building)
MDV14292Related to: Barnstaple Medieval Town Defences (Monument)
MDV38830Related to: Medieval Ditch to Rear of 101 Boutport Street, Barnstaple (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV1381 - POT (XII to XIV - 1200 AD to 1399 AD)

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 8 2018 2:05PM