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Hemyock Hands on History Event

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Archived Stories A unique history event took place in Hemyock on 13th and 14th November at the Primary School with archaeologists from Exeter displaying a large amount of the medieval pottery recently found at the Churchills Farm building site for Hemyock people to handle and discuss with the archaeologists.

The pottery has proved to be an important find with advanced examples of designs and techniques for the period. The location has proved to be a large manufacturing site of pottery artifacts which were then transported over long distances for trading purposes.

 The event was held at the Hemyock Primary School with the schoolchildren having access on the Friday and interested Hemyock residents on Saturday.

An experienced Potter was on hand to show how the pottery was made and the techniques used, with the actual raw materials from the Hemyock area.  Some examples of replica work he had made were on display.

The archaeologists are now analysing the material to prove which of the Pottery exhibits at various museums around the country originated in Hemyock. 
Further work is planned later in the year to try to locate the actual kilns used in the manufacture. The pottery find has proved to be the largest ever such find in Devon.

The schoolchildren have come up with some innovative ideas about the unique designs and use of the artifacts.

Mr John Allan the principal archaeologist, who is also the archaeologist for Exeter Cathedral, then gave an informative talk in St Mary’s on the Saturday evening to a fascinated group of Hemyock and Blackdown Hill residents.  Among the illustrations were a geological map of the area, showing where the clay lies, and a tithe map from the 1840(?)s, showing the extent of Hemyock 'Town' at that time.

These finds together with the evidence of Iron Smelting in the area indicate that Hemyock was an important industrial manufacturing site in addition to its agricultural heritage from early times.

The event was part funded by the Blackdown Hills AONB Sustainable Development Fund.