Finding Killerton House 1776: 3

 

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Time to walk through the door of Killerton House, Devon and see whether Jo and his team of volunteer archaeologists have found the buried walls of the house James Wyatt never quite built for Thomas Dyke Acland in the 1770s.

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He created the drawings, dug out the cellar and started to build but was told to stop work and abandon the project. The builders then salvaged most of the building materials and left the site to scrub over and be forgotten.

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I visited today. Fi introduced me to Jo from SW archaeology and he showed me what had been discovered. No doubt now. Massive outside foundations about 1m thick and then interior walls of brick clearly showing in the two trenches he has dug with the Killerton volunteers. The footprint of the house must be about 60m long and 25m wide.

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Dave, Derek and Fi took me up by landrover to Folly Hill. We cleared a bit more scrub and then took off some turf and topsoil to work out what was there.

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By the end of the day we had found that the tower folly had been hexagonal built on a a brick faced foundation twice as wide as the tower. Fi found fragments of decorative

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glazed ridge tile and Dave a massive chunk of moulded stone. The tile suggests that this was built in the late 17th -early 18th century. Dunster has an octagonal brick summer house which dates to 1720 and I have found similar tile there.

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One more day tomorrow to get a better idea.

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