Dartmoor has over 21,000 entries in the Historic Environment Record, ranging from prehistoric monuments such as stone circles and burial cairns, to military target railways and medieval farmsteads. Over 1,000 of these features are Scheduled Monuments, meaning they are considered to be of national importance and so have legal protection. This large and valuable archaeological resource faces a number of potential threats and conserving it can be a challenge, but your donations help conserve these amazing archaeological features.
Repairs to wheelpit at Hexworthy Mine
As climate change progresses and agricultural practices change, one of the major threats is the encroachment of vegetation some of which, such as bracken, gorse and young trees, can be very damaging to archaeology. Donate for Dartmoor this year is helping combat this by funding the clearance of trees from an overgrown wheelpit at Hexworthy Mine. This feature once housed a water wheel providing power for the mine. It is currently chocked with vegetation, with its surviving masonry threatened by the growth of trees. Removing them is complex and potentially expensive, but will preserve this important part of the mine's infrastructure for the future.
Works will be planned in the autumn after the bird breeding season has finished.
Community excavation at North Hall Manor
A chance for members of the local community and local school groups to experience archaeological excavation first hand as part of the team investigating the buried ruins of Widecombe-in-the-Moor’s lost medieval manor. Since 2012 the project has revealed tantalizing glimpses of the remains of both stone and timber buildings that date back to the early Thirteenth century.
In 2018 we hope to complete the excavations with a two week dig concentrating on the key areas of the site and whilst doing so introduce as many people as possible to the fascinating world of archaeology. Donate for Dartmoor contributions will help pay towards the cost of the professional supervision, provide tools (that will be used on future community digs) and teaching materials for the school groups.
Archaeology learning box
Part of the role of the National Park is to help people access and understand Dartmoor's past and 2017 will see Donate for Dartmoor help us achieve this by funding an archaeology learning box. This is an educational resource intended to help schoolchildren gain a hands-on glimpse of life in the Bronze Age. The box will contain a selection of replica objects typical of those used in the Bronze Age including baskets, furs, stone and bronze tools, cooking pots, clothing and jewellery as well as information about Dartmoor's Bronze Age archaeology. We hope that the archaeology learning box will help bring this aspect of the past to life for children and help inspire their understanding of it.