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County of Devon
County of Devon. Attribution: By Nilfanion, CC BY-SA or GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons

Straddling the south-west peninsula, Devon encompasses sandy beaches, fossil cliffs, medieval towns and moorland national parks. This vast, often wild, landscape has evidence of human occupation as long as 40,000 years ago. The county was named after the Dumnonii tribe who inhabited the area from the Iron Age until the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons. Important archaeological sites include:

  • Kents Cavern where human remains have been found dating to some 30-40,000 years ago.
  • Bronze Age settlements at Grimspound and the Bronze Age monuments of Yellowmead, Drizzlecombe and Merrivale.
  • Blackbury Camp, Hembury Fort and Milber Down Camp Iron Age hill forts.
  • Roman fortlets at Martinhoe and Old Burrow, as well as the start of the Fosse Way.
  • The deserted medieval village of Hound’s Tor and the medieval tunnels beneath Exeter city.
  • Okehampton, Totnes and Compton castles, which all have their origins in the Norman period.
  • Beer Quarry Caves which have evidence of quarrying stretching back to the Romans. The quarry has supplied stone for St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Hampton Court.

Explore artefacts and coins found in Devon and recorded on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database. There’s even more about Devon finds and volunteering on our blog.

To get involved, try one of the museums, clubs or societies or come to a local event. Or contact us to learn about volunteering for the Portable Antiquities Scheme.


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