STEP - Slaughterbridge is a site with a situation and archaeology that are highly suitable for providing training opportunities for university archaeology students, and experience for a more general public. Short periods of excavation are carried out through out the year, whenever they are needed by the students, for their courses, or as part of National Archaeology Week, for the public. The excavation is put in context with practicals and lectures on; surveying, using maps, digital resources, aerial photographs, planning, finds identification and recording. All of these make use of features of the site. The excavation is on display to the public as part of the Arthurian Centre.
TESP - A detailed study of the early medieval sites in the ten parishes 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. It will incidentally provide a wider context for excavation work at Slaughterbridge (STEP). This project is directed by Dr. Niall Finneran of Winchester University.
The site consists of two main elements. Firstly, on the hillside the earthworks of a small medieval settlement and post-medieval farm called Old Melorn. Secondly in the valley bottom, built in to the river cliffs, the mostly buried remains of a mid-eighteenth century garden created by Lady Dowager Falmouth (Charlotte Boscawen). The centre of this garden is the most important feature on the site the 6th century ‘Arthur’s Stone’ inscribed with ogham and latin. Both sites were attached to the nearby Worthyvale house.
The interim picture of the site is this. The Arthur Stone was erected as a memorial beside a road that runs across the site in the 6th century. In the medieval period a settlement called Melorn developed here, possibly with a chapel. This settlement shrunk to a farm and then was demolished. One of the buildings was last in use as a smithy. There was also a possible mill below the village. Charlotte and her husband Hugh Boscawen moved to Worthyvale Manor around 1700. The garden was built during the first half of the 18th century, with a path leading from a ‘ folly’ on a low mound, via winding paths along river cliff terraces, rock cut steps and a patterned cobbled area with seats. Paths lead to the relocated Arthur Stone in a natural ‘grotto’ beside the River Camel. She died in 1754 and the garden was soon lost and forgotten. However the fame of the stone continued to attract visitors to the site, leading to a ticket office (now an earthwork) being built near the stone in the 19th century.