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HER Number:MDV50028
Name:Bell Casting Site adjacent to Barnstaple Castle

Summary

The remains of two bell casting pits were revealed during excavations on the site the library in 1986. The pits, which were used once only, would have produced bells of 1.22 and 1.32 metres diameter weighing about 20 and 24 hundredweight.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 556 333
Map Sheet:SS53SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBarnstaple
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBARNSTAPLE

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS53SE/543

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BELL CASTING PIT (XVII to XVIII - 1650 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

North Devon District Council Rescue Archaeology Unit, 1986, An Excavation at North Devon Area Library Site, Barnstaple; Summary Report (Report - Excavation). SDV76038.

The remains of a bell casting site were excavated on the south side of the Library site. Two casting pits located, though others may have been destroyed during 19th century. Only the lower levels of the clay inner moulds were recovered. The moulds were 52 inches and 48 inches (1.32 metres and 1.22 metres) diameter, and would have produced bells weighing probably in excess of a ton. Pottery evidence suggests a late 17th - early 18th century date. Map object based on this source.


Express & Echo, 1986, Load of Rubbish Typifies Life in a Bygone Era (Article in Serial). SDV361491.

On the site of a new library a bell foundry was found, capable of casting 1.25 tonnes of bronze. It is belived the bells of nearby Chulmleigh Parish Church were cast here.


North Devon District Council Rescue Archaeology Unit, 1990, Archaeology in Barnstaple: 1984-90, 16 (Report - non-specific). SDV342524.

Late 18th century bell casting pit in Barnstaple which produced bells of 48 and 52 inches (1.22 and 1.32 metres) diameter weighing approximately 20 and 24 hundredweight. The bells destination(s) is unknown but they may have been the Seventh and Tenor bells of Pilton church, made by Rudhalls of Gloucester in 1712.


Lovatt, A. M., 1990, Excavations within a Medieval Town: North West Barnstaple 1985-1988, 9-11 (Report - Excavation). SDV64370.

Bell casting pit excavated beneath the south range of the later Dornat building. Two badly truncated casting pits containing the bases of bell moulds, two furnaces and other possibly associated features. The features apparently represented a single bell-founding operation. The removal of the bells destroyed most of the moulds and the pits were backfilled with clay, brick and rubble. Map object based on this source.


Exeter Archaeology, 2003, Barnstaple Castle Car Park Scheme: Phase 1: Archaeological Assessment, 13 (Report - Assessment). SDV319631.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV319631Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2003. Barnstaple Castle Car Park Scheme: Phase 1: Archaeological Assessment. Exeter Archaeology Report. 03.62. A4 Stapled + Digital. 13.
SDV342524Report - non-specific: North Devon District Council Rescue Archaeology Unit. 1990. Archaeology in Barnstaple: 1984-90. North Devon District Council Rescue Archaeology Unit Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 16.
SDV361491Article in Serial: Express & Echo. 1986. Load of Rubbish Typifies Life in a Bygone Era. Express & Echo. Photocopy + Digital.
SDV64370Report - Excavation: Lovatt, A. M.. 1990. Excavations within a Medieval Town: North West Barnstaple 1985-1988. North Devon District Council Rescue Archaeology Unit Report. A4 Grip Bound + Digital. 9-11.
SDV76038Report - Excavation: North Devon District Council Rescue Archaeology Unit. 1986. An Excavation at North Devon Area Library Site, Barnstaple; Summary Report. North Devon District Council Rescue Archaeology Unit Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV863Related to: Dornat's Factory, formerly a Workhouse, Tuly Street, Barnstaple (Building)
MDV50123Related to: Pottery Kiln No. 1, Tuly Street, Barnstaple (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4504 - Excavation at Library Site in Barnstaple

Date Last Edited:Jun 27 2018 4:14PM