Cow Cave Heritage at Risk S17 Project at Cow Cave, Chudleigh Rocks, Teignbridge, Devon (Scheduled Monument 1010726)

Chris Proctor, Rob Dinnis, John Stewart, Monika Knul, Chris Gleed-Owen, Chris Hunt, Dana Challinor, David A Richards, Vanessa E Fairbank, John Boulton, Hazel Riley, Cressida Whitton

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


Cow Cave, Chudleigh, Devon (SM 1010726), has a record of fossiliferous sediments and archaeology that is known to extend back into the Middle Pleistocene. In recent years a number of threats to the site have been identified, including natural erosion of the sediment sections and vandalism. The present project was planned as a limited excavation in order to stabilise the sediment faces, followed by installation of a grille to exclude casual visitors and protect the site in future. The project achieved these main aims. The excavation carried out to achieve the core aims allowed a reassessment of the site, which has confirmed it’s antiquity. The oldest deposit in the cave, the Stream Deposit, is now referred on the basis of the pollen assemblage, archaeology and U-Th ages to the Aveley interglacial. The lower part of the Reindeer Stratum, previously also identified as Middle Pleistocene, is now dated to the early Devensian on the basis of a Chelford Interstadial type pollen assemblage and 14C ages. The uppermost part of the deposit is of Holocene age but includes cold stage material that may date from the later Devensian. In addition to the archaeology already known to be present in the cave, 14C dating of charcoal found during this investigation has established a late Mesolithic presence in the Chudleigh Rocks area.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherHistoric England
Number of pages146
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

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