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, 11:50
Chancellor George Osborne laid out his plan for the South West at Appledore Shipyard on Friday. Picture: Jasmine Little

George Osborne made the pledge during a speech at Appledore Shipyard this morning (Friday)

Read more
Yesterday, 10:53
The submerged car in Appledore. Picture: Andy Willterton.

Coastguard and a local tractor driver attempted to rescue the vehicle yesterday (Thursday) which is still stuck in the sand.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:06
Caravans moved onto Barnstaple's Rock Park earlier  this evening (Wednesday).

Enforcement officers called off as encampment vacates Rock Park.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:42
Unveiling the Conservative six point plan for the South West.

The Chancellor is paying a visit to Appledore Shipyard this morning (Friday) to announce, among other things, improvements to A361 Link Road.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:20
The Hobby Horse

From agriculture shows and food fairs to railway shows and picnics - there is loads to do in North Devon this bank holiday weekend.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:47
Russell Cheesman, who was found dead in Bideford on Sunday, October 26.

Russell Cheesman, 32, was found dead near Bideford skate park having taken a number of drugs and drinking alcohol.

Read more
Thu, 17:51
New North Devon Council deputy leader Pat Barker and leader Des Brailey.

Annual meeting sees the formation of a new Conservative led administration

Read more
Thu, 14:01
The inquest was held at Bideford Town Hall this morning (Thursday).

Julian Renouf, 37, died in April last year during a ‘tragic accident’ after fishing vessel overturned, trapping him underneath.

Read more
Thu, 14:00
Westward Ho! Picture: Stephen Ring

Double header for Westward Ho! with a coveted Blue Flag plus Seaside Award, but others receive a share of the spoils too...

Read more
Thu, 12:18

Inspector overturns council’s decision ot refuse 59 homes at Mead Park

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life
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