The Woodland Trust and other partners from the Moor than Meets the Eye project recently led a six day archaeological dig in Bovey Valley Woods, part of Dartmoor National Park.
The excavation was carried out to learn more about Vinnimore Farm – a deserted building inside the wood. The layout and location of the farmstead are unusual, and has been the cause of local curiosity for many years.
Objects found included small fragments of pottery, ironwork, clay pipe, and also the remnants of a chimney place and bread oven. These have been dated between 1750 and 1850, supporting the evidence found in historical maps and confirms that there was at least 100 years of occupation. The artefacts have now been sent to be studied by a specialist.
Emma Stockley, community heritage officer for Moor than Meets the Eye, said: “The dig has been an inspiring and hugely rewarding week. We have worked alongside colleagues from other organisations, volunteers from the local community and some who had travelled even further afield. We’ve learnt a lot about this hidden farmstead nestled in the Bovey Valley and have been able to shed more light on this part of the Dartmoor story.”
The excavation is part of a wider project across the Bovey Valley to improve its value for wildlife and to engage people with it. It has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Funded scheme, Moor than Meets the Eye, which is helping people to get involved and discover the Dartmoor Story.
Throughout the year there are a range of events being held at both Bovey Valley, and also Fingle Woods. These include a series of lectures, wildlife walks, family days and even a summer party. To find out more go to: woodland.trust.org.uk/get-involved.
Image: Emma Stockley