Time Team dig at Dotton Mill, Devon airs

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watermills Time Team dig at Dotton Mill, Devon airs

The Time Team dig at the site of the Dotton Mill in Devon aired on Sunday 11th March 2007.

Martin Watts, millwright and mill historian featured in the programme providing mill specific expertise. Although the site held a mill through to the 1960's, it was known that there was a Doomesday mill in the area, and the fact that the parish boundaries follow the mam made mill leat indicate that the mill site predates the drawing up of the parishes.

Much of the documentary history of the site had been researched in advance as part of an A-level history project, so there was no trouble in locating exacly where to dig to find the mill - with the wheelpit being the major feature of interest. A large hole appeared over the course of the weekend to uncover the pit - which yielded a couple of millstones, and wood and metal parts of the waterwheel itself. It also showed that the mill had been breastshot, rather than the undershot first supposed.

The mill leat was also excavated, which help establish its age, but a possible second mill site along the leat turned out to be unconnected with the leat. There were also finds from the domestic accomodation attached to the mill.

The Time Team format of a 3 day dig leading to a one hour TV programme shows the limits of this form of archaeology - I get the impression that there was much more to be learnt from the site given more time, and also that there were more details that were found, that simply did not fit the programme time slot - lets hope that this is written up in a more comprehensive form as well.
See also:Time Team dig at Dutton Mill, Devon airs 11th March (22/1/07) Tags: [tv]
Item: #610, Posted: 14/3/07.

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