Grimspound geophysical survey uncovers history

Laura White
Laura White

The Moorlander recently reported that Jowan Albon –  a 3rd year student at Leicester University – was undertaking surveys of Grimspound on Dartmoor in the hope of uncovering a sense of what Grimspound was like thousands of years ago, and whether it acted as a central point for the people living within the boundaries of Hameldown.

Under the dissertation title, ‘To what extent was Grimspound a defensive settlement of some significance in Prehistory?’, Jowan used ‘LiDAR’ (Light Detection and Ranging) devices to produce 3D representations of the area and its structures using lasers, including impressions of those which are buried beneath the soil.

His Facebook post on 15th December read – “Hi all! Big news – here’s the first geophys data! The first and last image shows the rough location of the geophys data – large amounts of noise appear to correspond to the geology which also corresponds to the vegetation!

‘The second image is possible sites of interest. The third image is for you to make your own conclusions – good to have a third set of eyes! Having had it looked at by University of  Leicester lecturers who specialise in Geophysical surveys, one thing that immediately stood out to them was a possible hut circle at the far right (eastern) side of the survey area.

Unfortunately, only half was surveyed, but the second set of geophysical results have taken it into account.

This is still quite exciting, showing a possible hut circle that may not have been disturbed for 3000-4000 years! (Presuming Bronze Age date).

Possible clusters of features near the west (left) side may indicate more structures, and a linear feature (track??) showing a more complex site!
The yellow sites are two known hut circles, but the survey incorporated them – they have been excavated and surveyed in the 1890s excavations.

If you do ‘see’ any possible features, send me an image of where and what you think it is!

There is more to come, so stay tuned!”

To see more images and for further information and updates, see Jowan’s Facebook page The Grimspound Project.

Local Life