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HER Number:MDV904
Name:Claypit Coverts, Fremington


Large area of former clayworkings.


Grid Reference:SS 528 317
Map Sheet:SS53SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishFremington
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishFREMINGTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS53SW/14

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CLAY WORKINGS (Early Medieval to XX - 1066 AD to 2000 AD (Between))

Full description

HALL, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV25281.

Fremington pits produced red, brown, and yellow clays from near the hamlet of lake to mullingar (hall).

WAY, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV122583.

Brown clay from the fremington pits supplied the clay for the manufacture of barum and fremington pipes.(strong). At fremington, 2 miles from barnstaple, are vast pits. Now filled with water, and refuse heaps, which testify to the long duration of the barnstaple pottery trade. A coarse fictile clay (way).

Grant, A., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV64962.

Development of fremington claypits discussed in some detail with reference to tithe map of 1842 (grant).

1905, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV84511.

'old clay pit' at ngr ss52943164 marked on 6" (1905) (os).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV84512.

Strong, h. W. /tda/22(1890)134/a contribution to the commercial history of devonshire.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV84513.

Hall, t. M. /tda/22(1890)320/on barum tobacco-pipes and north devon clays.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV84514.

Way, r. E. /jbaa/35(1879)104-105.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV84516.

Brannam, p. /a family business - the story of a pottery/(1982)15-22/photos.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV84519.

Des=dcc conservation section photos/596/9-10(26/1/1984).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV84520.

Des=os 6"(1932/1938)13nw.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV84521.

Des=os 6"(1905)13sw.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Claypit Coverts marked comprising a large area of woodland and marshy ground. A small Clay Pit is also marked in the south-east corner of the coverts.

Gover, J. E. B. + Mawer, A. + Stenton, F. M., 1931, The Place-Names of Devon: Part One, 115 (Monograph). SDV1312.

First documentary reference to "le clay pittes" in 1606.

Grant, A., 1981, Fremington Clay Pits (Un-published). SDV84515.

Grant, a. /north devon pottery industries of later seventeenth century/(1981) exeter university phd thesis/map 7 in parish file.

Brannam, P., 1982, A Family Business - The Story of a Pottery (Monograph). SDV72968.

Extraction of clay by brannam pottery in c.19 and c.20 described with photos. The clay was taken by horse-drawn railway to weathering area (at ss53003180) before being transported to the pottery. Clay still being extracted by machine in 1970's (brannam).

Griffiths, D., 1983, ?Quay (Worksheet). SDV13596.

Vis=26/1/1984 (griffiths) the eastern part of the claypits are occupied by one large pit and there is no sign of the railway, which was abandoned in the 1950's. Earlier workings on the west edge of the modern pit are visible as ponds and much overgrown spoil heaps.

Grant, A., 1983, North Devon Pottery: The Seventeenth Century, 35-37, Fig. 16 (Monograph). SDV337607.

Risdon observed circa 1630 that the best clay for potters' use was 'digged up' at Fremington. The claypits were worked by a number of different people in the 17th century, a situation reflected in tenement names and holdings on the 1842 Tithe Map. Clay was exported to barnstaple, and also served local potteries.

Devon County Council, 2004, Devon County Minerals Local Plan. Claypit Coverts (Website). SDV356531.

Claypit Coverts lies on a deposit of Boulder Clay which is one of the most important Pleistocene sites in South-West England. Part of the quarry is an SSSI as it demonstrates indisputable evidence of glaciation in Devon. Mineral extraction now only occurs every 2-5 years. The excavated material is stockpiled and left to weather for several months before being transported to the pottery at Roundswell. Planning permission was granted in 1987 and 1989 for the tipping of inert waste in part of the quarry.

Wessex Archaeology, 2011, Land to the West of Tews Lane, Bickington, Barnstaple, Devon: Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment, 7, Appendix 1 (Report - Assessment). SDV352137.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV122583Migrated Record: WAY.
SDV1312Monograph: Gover, J. E. B. + Mawer, A. + Stenton, F. M.. 1931. The Place-Names of Devon: Part One. The Place-Names of Devon: Part One. VIII. A5 Hardback. 115.
SDV13596Worksheet: Griffiths, D.. 1983. ?Quay.
SDV25281Migrated Record: HALL.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #109239 ]
SDV337607Monograph: Grant, A.. 1983. North Devon Pottery: The Seventeenth Century. North Devon Pottery: The Seventeenth Century. Hardback Volume. 35-37, Fig. 16.
SDV352137Report - Assessment: Wessex Archaeology. 2011. Land to the West of Tews Lane, Bickington, Barnstaple, Devon: Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment. Wessex Archaeology Report. 76470.01. A4 Stapled + Digital. 7, Appendix 1.
SDV356531Website: Devon County Council. 2004. Devon County Minerals Local Plan. Claypit Coverts. http://www.devon.gov.uk/amlp-ip4_claypit_coverts.pdf. Website.
SDV64962Migrated Record: Grant, A..
SDV72968Monograph: Brannam, P.. 1982. A Family Business - The Story of a Pottery. A Family Business - The Story of a Pottery. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV84511Migrated Record: 1905.
SDV84512Migrated Record:
SDV84513Migrated Record:
SDV84514Migrated Record:
SDV84515Un-published: Grant, A.. 1981. Fremington Clay Pits. Photocopy + Digital.
SDV84516Migrated Record:
SDV84519Migrated Record:
SDV84520Migrated Record:
SDV84521Migrated Record:

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 24 2014 8:38AM