The Archaeology of Bantham Ham - 11th May 2017
Over 100 people attended this talk in the Parish Hall by Stephen Reed, Senior Historic Environment Officer at Devon County Council. Aside from local residents, there were people from all over the South Hams and representatives from various organisations and interest groups, including, the Aune Conservation Association, South West Coast Path Association and Save Bantham Campaign.
Stephen’s role as Senior Historic Environment Officer involves providing heritage advice to the local planning authorities and developers in Devon. He previously worked for Exeter Archaeology and has undertaken archaeological fieldwork across Devon and the South West, including the two most important recent archaeological investigations at Bantham.
In his Talk, Stephen described Bantham’s important role as a trading port with the Mediterranean in the 5th and 6th centuries, evident from the quantity of ceramics recovered which is second only to that from Tintagel; he explained how the remains of a Roman enclosure were discovered under the car park by the toilet block; and reminded us of the statutory protection provided by the Scheduled Ancient Monument legislation and reasons why Bantham is on the Heritage at Risk Register, due to its national archaeological significance and vulnerability to visitor erosion. His talk was accompanied by fascinating slides, including those of the 1997 and 2001 archaeological investigations in which he took part.