Hundreds turn out to archaeological dig at Batsworthy wind farm site

17:32 23 July 2014

Wessex Archaeology

Wessex Archaeology's Ray Kennedy and Pete Capps at the excavation site at Batsworthy Cross on Wednesday

Archant

Rare medieval settlement and pottery discovered on nine-turbine wind farm site

The excavation site at Batsworthy Cross on WednesdayThe excavation site at Batsworthy Cross on Wednesday

HUNDREDS turned out to an archaeological dig at Batsworthy today (Wednesday) after plans for a nine-turbine wind farm on the site were given the green light.

Energy firm RWE, who received planning permission for the site in October 2012, enlisted the services of Wessex Archaeology to excavate what is thought to be a medieval settlement dating back to the 11th or 12th century.

Even before the open day, an ancient track way, abandoned field systems and the remains of a fairly large building were found on the site, off the A361 at Knowstone.

Pieces of ancient pottery were also found during the day.

The excavation site at Batsworthy Cross on WednesdayThe excavation site at Batsworthy Cross on Wednesday

Wessex Archaeology project manager Gareth Chaffey said the open day had generated a ‘fantastic response’, but conceded that any findings would not stop the development.

“Clearly people are interested in knowing what’s here,” he said. “This kind of size and shape of structure is quite rare by all accounts.

“Excavations like this are common place in any planning process. The main focus is to make sure everything is preserved.”

But there are still a vocal number of local residents who believe the wind farm will ‘spoil’ the landscape and ‘be a danger to link road users’.

Richard Delf, of Higher Swinham, said: “I’m slightly concerned to learn that once work is finished here, the site will be turned over to the developer for them to commence without waiting for the interim report to be issued.

“If experts say the implications are more important than it appears it is then too late.

“I think this is a totally unspoilt part of North Devon. It’s very exposed and it seems wrong to plant an industrial site in such a prominent position, visible from Exmoor and Dartmoor.

“A lot of people come to Devon for its unspoilt countryside; not to look at wind farms.”

David Morgans, of Roachill, said: “The revelation of the medieval building structure at Batsworthy proved that the past is much more worthy of preservation than the moronic turbines future of the site will be.”

Resident Joanne Bell added: “This was merely a box ticking exercise. Presumably the costs of this will ultimately be passed on to energy consumers.

“Clearly, no matter what artefacts are found RWE have stated that the turbines will go ahead.

“The planning approval was for nine turbines - already they are now asking for three additional ones. Will we eventually see 22-turbines to compete with the Fullabrook disaster?

“No Bat Survey has been undertaken as per Conditions. A very sad day for North Devon.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other North Devon Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by North Devon Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique North Devon Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 08:00
Justin Wallace, former Bideford Round Table chairman; Dr Robin Buckland, North Devon Children’s Holiday Foundation; and Alex Dziurzynski, Bideford Round Table events coordinator.

The Bideford Round Table has raised nearly £3,000 to provide holidays of a lifetime for children with serious illnesses and disabilities.

Read more
Fri, 14:58
David Cameron visiting Barnstaple this morning. Picture © Guy Harrop

Catch up with the latest General Election goings on and ministerial visits in pictures

Read more
Fri, 10:03
The new Ilfracombe launch and recovery vehicle being put through its paces on Instow beach.

£1million launch and recovery vehicle begins training exercises in North Devon

Read more
Fri, 09:37

Tractor severely damaged after accidentally catching fire near Lynton yesterday (Thursday).

Read more
Fri, 09:08
Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Mayor of London Boris Johnson with 3 year old Stephanie during a General Election campaign visit to Advantage Children's Day Nursery in Surbiton, Surrey. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

David Cameron is launching the Conservatives’ first English manifesto, with a promise of changes to ensure that English MPs have the final say on income tax rates in England.

Read more
Fri, 09:05

The 34-year-old will appear at Exeter Crown Court for sentencing on 30 charges of fraud next month.

Read more
Fri, 08:00
What are you doing to celebrate VE Day in North Devon?

Are you doing anything to celebrate 70 years since World War two formally ended? Tell us about your VE Day celebrations.

Read more
Fri, 07:00
Frankie Moore serves his gran (lt) and Mike and Mel Braddick some salad at the Westward Ho! Big Lunch last year.

Tickets to the free community Big Lunch are expected to be in high demand, according to organisers.

Read more
Thu, 12:10

Latest crime figures show a 5.2 per cent drop in crime across Devon and Cornwall against last year.

Read more
Thu, 11:17
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has a selfie taken as he meets Labour supporters in Ipswich yesterday. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Labour is accusing the Conservatives of planning the biggest spending cuts in any of the world’s advanced economies as the parties again prepare to trade blows on the economy.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 2°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition



North Devon's trusted business finder