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Archaeological dig at Batsworthy wind farm site

PUBLISHED: 10:30 22 July 2014

A silhouette of a Fullabrook turbine looking out towards the Bristol Channel.

A silhouette of a Fullabrook turbine looking out towards the Bristol Channel.

Archant

Medieval settlement discovered at site of nine-turbine RWE development.

AN archaeological dig at the site of a planned wind farm will not halt the development, planning officers have confirmed.

An excavation of what is thought to be an 11th or 12th century medieval settlement at Batsworthy Cross is set to take place tomorrow (Wednesday).

It has been requested by Devon County Council ahead of RWE Innogy UK’s construction of a new nine-turbine wind farm at the site.

The development was given planning consent by North Devon Council in October 2012. Construction is expected to start in spring 2015, lasting around 18 months.

A spokesperson for North Devon Council told the Gazette: “The finds at Batsworthy won’t affect the development taking place.”

A spokesperson for Devon County Council said its own archaeological experts had already assessed the site during the planning process.

He said that while the find was not of sufficient importance, it would be recorded before it is lost for the construction of the wind turbines.

Initial research has revealed an ancient track way and abandoned field system, as well as the remains of a building which might have been a dwelling or used to contain livestock.

RWE has enlisted the help of experts at Wessex Archaeology, who are inviting the public to see the excavation from 2pm to 6pm.

The afternoon event is free, and all ages are welcome. Mini-digs will be available for children.

Gareth Chaffey of Wessex Archaeology said: “We’d like people with an interest in our hidden heritage to come and discover this unknown medieval settlement, and to experience a real archaeological dig site.

“They will have the chance to meet archaeologists and learn more about our work and to see some of the artefacts found so far.”

The site is located off the A361 at Knowstone. Turn at Moortown Cross and follow signs to Rose Ash and Ash Mill.

For more information contact Gareth Chaffey on 01722 326867.

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