Cloakham Lawns, Axminster, Devon. Archaeological Excavation.

Cotswold Archaeology, 2017

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Hazel O'Neill
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Cotswold Archaeology (2017) Cloakham Lawns, Axminster, Devon. Archaeological Excavation. [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]


Overall site Cloakham Excavations

Archaeological excavation was undertaken by Cotswold Archaeology in January and February 2014. The earliest features identified comprised a small group of pit-like features containing fragments of pottery, flintwork and charred hazelnut shells. Radiocarbon dates on recovered hazelnut shells show that the features were of Early Neolithic date. It is possible that they related to transient occupation, with some of the larger features representing tree-throws while the smaller examples appear to be postholes. The latter include alignments that suggest the presence of a structure, but there is no overall pattern that can be interpreted as a building.

Subsequent occupation towards the centre of the stripped area consisted of Iron Age to early Roman occupation beginning in the later Iron Age (from c. 300 BC), while pottery dating to the 1st century AD indicates that occupation was continuous until around the time of the Roman conquest, but perhaps did not outlast the 1st century. The identified features from these periods comprise, in the main, curving gullies, pits and postholes. In general, postholes lacked distinguishing characteristics such as post-voids and packing, and it was not possible to determine whether the curving gullies were structural or drainage features. Overall, the identified Iron Age/early Roman settlement appears to be of relatively low status and represents a typical small farmstead. Later features included a pattern of post-medieval field boundaries and more recent field drains and pits.

This report presents an assessment of the results of the excavation and proposals for summary publication in the county archaeological journal.