VCH Explore

Explore England's Past

Archaeological Sites, Monuments and Objects

Codford Circle, a prehistoric ditch and bank enclosure to the north-east of Codford St Mary village

An archaeological site is a location where evidence of past human activity is preserved. Remains may be visible above ground, such as buildings, earthworks and standing stones, or may be preserved beneath the modern ground surface, requiring archaeological techniques, including excavation and geophysical survey, to reveal them. Archaeological features may be termed monuments if they were constructed for ritual, ceremonial or commemorative purposes.

Archaeological sites and monuments in England include settlements (see Prehistoric and Roman Settlements), landscape features (such as field systems, parks and boundaries), industrial sites (including mines, quarries, mills and factories), military installations (for example, castles, forts and walls), funerary remains (including barrows, cemeteries and tombs) and religious structures (such as stone circles, temples, stone crosses and churches).

Archaeological objects (or artefacts) illustrate the diversity of past human endeavour. As stray finds, perhaps recovered from ploughsoil, they are studied for their intrinsic art, function and technology, but if recovered in situ they can often help to date associated archaeological remains. Some materials are better preserved in the archaeological record than others; for example more stone, precious metal and glass artefacts have been recovered than those made from wood, iron, textile or bone, which tend to decay more easily. Occasionally valuable artefacts were deposited in groups known as hoards. Examples of artefacts commonly recovered from English archaeological sites are coins, pottery, jewellery, tools and weaponry.

Theme Items

The area around this ancient bridge on the river Barle is one of great natural beauty making it a magnet for tourists.

Excavations in 1975-6 in Peter Street uncovered an exceptionally well-preserved three-wick bronze lamp, one of the very few examples of the English

In Jacob's Well Road a small rock-cut chamber with two stone steps contains a wellhead.

Colan Church was built in 1250 and the present church dates from 1360.

Dupath Well, situated 1.5 kilometres east-south-east of Callington, is housed in a granite ashlar building and incorporates architectural features

This small chapel and holy well are located in a pretty, rugged area above the River Inney.

This Iron Age hill fort consists of a circular raised earthwork and ditch enclosing an area about 140 metres in diameter.

This large parish church is a good example of the Gothic Perpendicular style of the 15th century.

To the north west of St Cleer, on the Liskeard Road, there lies an inscribed Anglo-Saxon stone cross, known as the Doniert Stone, which has an insc

This small but appealing well building lies just to the north of the churchyard of St Clarus’s Church.