|Department of Archaeology > Research > Stokenham|
Excavations and Survey around the Village of Stokenham, Devon
The parish of Stokenham, Devon, is known for the unique Anglo-Saxon dedication of its church to St. Humbert the Confessor and for its rich surviving medieval documentary record. The church, the majority of whose fabric is dated to the 15th and 16th centuries, is situated on a south-facing slope on the south-east side of the modern village. Immediately to the east of the church is the site of Stokenham manor house, abandoned in 1585 but possibly dating back to at least the 12th century. The church of Stokenham is thought to represent the Anglo-Saxon minster church of Coleridge hundred, whose royal estate centre was 1.5km to the west at Chillington.
The site represents a valuable opportunity to investigate the origins and development of a village in south-west England from its prehistoric and Saxon origins through to the present day. Two research topics provided the focus for the archaeological research:
The 2005 Field Season
Co-directed by Dr Howard Williams (then University of Exeter) and Dr Sam Turner (University of Newcastle)
During the 2005 field season, the project conducted geophysical surveys east and west of the parish church of Stokenham and conducted excavations ahead of the extension of the parish churchyard in Manor Field. Key discoveries included the remains of a medieval long-house, farmyard surfaces and drains. These overlaid earlier evidence of prehistoric activity including substantial multi-phased ditch-systems. A systematic fieldwalking survey was subsequently conducted in the Manor Field. The project also involved the survey of gravestones in the churchyard.
A detailed interim report is available on the SOGAER e-journal Excapades.
The 2006 Field Season
Directed by Dr Howard Williams
During July 2006, 28 archaeology students from the University of Exeter returned to Stokenham to complete and extend the work initiated in 2005. The 4 weeks excavation and fieldwork involved a number of related but discrete elements of archaeological research in the village
The 2006 field season involved the community in many ways:
View the Stokenham 2006 Interim Report.
The 2007 Field Season
Directed by Dr Howard Williams
In July 2007, Howard Williams led the third season of fieldwork at Stokenham, Devon.
In two prior seasons the fieldwork project excavated a late medieval long house and farmyard including culverts and hard-standing surfaces. Beneath this we found a sequence of ditches, the earliest and most ephemeral of which dates back to the Bronze Age. The project also involved the archaeological survey of the churchyard of Stokenham. This year the project moved on to explore the medieval and Tudor manor house abandoned in the 1580s within ‘Manor Field’ east of the parish church. For more information, please read the Stokenham Interim Statement (DOC format).
Alongside support from the University of Exeter and the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Stokenham '07 excavation benefitted from the Department of Archaeology's Exploration Fund who supported advanced training for 5 student-supervisors.
Department of Archaeology, Laver Building, North Park Road, Exeter, Devon, UK EX4 4QE
The University of Exeter, The Queen’s Drive, Exeter, Devon, UK EX4 4QJ
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