TESP (Tintagel Environs Survey Project)

Project Design

This is a shortened version of the full project design. It has been drawn up following MoRPHE, the new project management standard used by English Heritage. The project began its planning stage in the summer of 2007.

Summary Description: A detailed study of the early medieval sites in the area between Tintagel on the coast and the northern end of Bodmin Moor, and their relationship to each other. The methodology will mainly consist of geophysics and field walking. This is contextualised in a desktop study of the development of the landscape.

Background: To provide wider context for excavation work at Slaughterbridge Training Excavation Project (STEP, a separate project).

Research Aims and Objectives:
If it is assumed that the sub-Roman occupation of Tintagel was seasonal, then other sites in the area may produce similar wares for some peripatetic ruler. By both studying placename, and landscape evidence, it is planned to target areas for geophysical and fieldwalking survey.
In particular looking at possible reoccupation of hillforts.

Also any evidence of tin working on the sites, as this was a major source of wealth in Cornwall.
Possible routes across the landscape linking port of Tintagel with Tin extraction sites on Bodmin Moor.

Reconstruct the landscape before (Bronze Age, Iron Age-Roman), during (Post-Roman, Anglo-Saxon) and after study period (Medieval), from mapping plot of finds and features.
To incidentally provide contextual understanding for the Slaughterbridge site (STEP).
To add additional training experience in archaeological fieldwork as part of that for STEP.
Additional objectives will be added by those joining the project bringing their own research interests to bear on the same study area, where there will be some benefit to the projects other aims.

Project Scope: The site of Slaughterbridge, the location for STEP is at the centre of the TESP study area. The TESP project is limited to the ten parishes that cover the area from Tintagel on the coast to the northern end of Bodmin Moor:-
  • St. Teath
  • St. Breward
  • Camelford
  • Advent
  • Tintagel
  • Davidstow
  • Michaelstow
  • Lesnewth
  • Forrabury and Minster
  • Trevalga
This is an area of 176.15sqkm (17615 hectares) with a perimeter of 75km including 16km of coast. Some consideration will be given to important sites just outside of this area (e.g. Tregeare Round which is 0.6km outside of area).

Interfaces: The Slaughterbridge (STEP) will be one of the subject sites for inclusion in TESP, as well as the results from TESP providing a wider context for STEP, but each will be managed as separate projects.

Project Team Structure:
Project Manager & Executive – Dr. Niall Finneran (Winchester University).
(Core Team Members – Dr. Niall Finneran, Joe Parsons, Nick Hanks.)
Expert – Kate Clark. Period specialism:- Mesolithic-Neolithic-Early Bronze Age.
Expert – Joe Parsons. Period specialism for project Late Bronze Age-Iron Age. Additional specialisms/responsibilities:- site visits, landowner negotiation, finds storage.
Expert – Dr. Niall Finneran (Winchester University). Period specialism for project Roman-SubRoman-Early Medieval. Additional specialisms/responsibilities:- lithics, liaising with academics/academic departments.
Expert – Nick Hanks (Bristol University). Period specialism for project Medieval-Post-Medieval. Additional specialisms/responsibilities:- landscape desk study, data mapping, project documentation.
Expert – Petra Wade. Gravestone Analyst.
Expert - Dr. Penny Needham. Early Mediaeval Inscriptions Specialist.
Expert – Vacant. Cornish Pottery Analyst.

Budget (Resources): Essentially this is a zero budget project, however sources of funding for parts of the project costs or expansions of the project will be looked into. Mostly the project will rely upon the resources that the core project team members can possibly call upon.