Dr. Oliver Creighton - Project Director
I am one of the project's directors, based in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Exeter. I research and teach on medieval archaeology and landscape history and have a particular interest in the impact of status and authority on Europe's landscapes, so Poltimore was an ideal base for a new project. I see the Poltimore Landscapes project as a fantastic opportunity to encourage people to engage with Poltimore's multi-layered history, archaeology and heritage and hope that our work can serve as a platform for giving this unique environment the profile and attention it deserves. For more information on Oliver Creighton, including his teaching, research and other activities, please see: humanities.exeter.ac.uk/archaeology/staff/creighton/
Prof. Henry French - Project Director
I am interested in the historical dimensions of this project, as well as the archaeology. In particular, I'd like to know more about the identities of the gardeners and other estate workers at Poltimore who constructed and maintained the gardens and worked around the estate. The volunteers have been working on some of these questions by looking at the Censuses for Poltimore village in the later nineteenth century, and we are hoping to be able to supplement these efforts by gaining access to some records of the management of the estate in this period, too. My own research interests have included studying families like the Bampfyldes at Poltimore, in looking at the values and ideals that the landed elite tried to instil into their sons between the later seventeenth and early twentieth centuries. I have also done quite a lot of research on landownership, and the management of landed estates in the past, and the ways in which they grew over time by buying up smaller farmers. I have been involved in the Poltimore project from an early stage, and have found it extremely rewarding to work with colleagues in archaeology, with the Poltimore House Trust team, and with the project volunteers. I'm looking forward to doing so more now that we are entering the second stage of the project, and gathering more research materials.
Dr. Penny Cunningham - Project Officer
I am the project officer and although I am based in the Department of Archaeology, I spend a lot of my time at Poltimore. While my background is in prehistory, I have found myself fascinated by the more recent history and archaeology present at Poltimore! I am responsible for training volunteers in archaeological fieldwork methods and documentary research. I particular enjoy working with volunteers who bring with them a great deal of enthusiasm and whole array of skills and knowledge which makes my role much more interesting and rewarding. Due to Poltimore’s multi-layered history, it is an ideal environment for school parties as it enables children to start to understand that the past is everywhere. Poltimore also presents a challenge for the children (and most adults!) when they consider its future and I always look forward to hearing their interpretations and suggestions.
Mike Jeffries-Harris - Website Manager
Jocelyn Hemming - Poltimore House Trust
Jocelyn Hemming has had a long relationship with Poltimore House, first setting foot in the house in 1941 when Dover College was in residence and the instigators of a Sixth Form Club made up from several boys' and girls' schools in the Exeter area. A few years later her family bought Poltimore House in its then 112 acres and set up Poltimore Hospital, which served the city and county as a private and then state medical establishment from 1945 to 1975. More recently Jocelyn Hemming was involved to a small degree in the early 1990s in the rescue of Poltimore House which had fallen into grave disrepair following several unsatisfactory ownerships and a disastrous fire in 1987. She became a founder Trustee in 2000, in 2005 wrote A DEVON HOUSE : The Story of Poltimore (published by University of Plymouth Press) and is currently working on a new title THE HOUSE THAT RICHARD BUILT which is intended to describe the evolution of the building over four centuries from its Tudor beginnings under Richard Bampfylde.
Nina Rothery - Broadclyst Community Primary School
Nina Rothery, Assistant Headteacher at Broadclyst Primary School. My role within the project centres around the educational use of Poltimore House as a resource for engaging children’s interest in local history. The children are encouraged to look at the methods used by Historians and Archaeologists to rediscover the past and look at ways in which the children can be involved.
Phil Planel - East Devon Council and East Devon AONB
Phil Planel is currently Heritage Project Officer for the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has run a number of community archaeology and history projects. Until recently he also taught archaeology A level and was an examiner for the AQA exam board. He is vice-chairman of the Devon History Society and is involved in freelance consultancy work for the Devon Record Office.
Jonathan Wright - Poltimore House Trust
I'm the Acting Chair of the Poltimore House Trust, and owner of an equipment control systems development company based on the University of Exeter campus. For me a really important part of all aspects of the restoration of Poltimore House is what we can learn from the process - I know less than I should about archaeology and history but I'm excited to find out how the knowledge transfer from Poltimore Landscapes will inform other projects around the House. Poltimore Landscapes will make an important part of our heritage so much more accessible to everyone, both in the involvement of students and volunteers during the project, and in the wealth of information that is already being made available along the way.
Simon Tootell - Poltimore House Trust
Simon has a double link with the project. He is the Events and Volunteer Co-ordinator for The Poltimore House Trust and a postgraduate student at the University of Exeter reading an MA in Archaeology and Heritage Management. Simon’s involvement with the project has been on the learning aspects, delivering map-reading workshops to visiting schools. He is also involved with the organisation of the public events linked to the project. Simon came to Poltimore House initially as a volunteer in May 2010 and took on the mantel of Events and Volunteer Co-ordinator in May 2011. Simon is also a speaker for the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and an Associate at the University of Exeter. His main interest is in the accessibility of archaeology and heritage to everyone through learning and interpretation.
Bill Horner - Historic Environment Service, Devon County Council
Dr. Claire Donovan - Poltimore House Trust
People Involved in Current Projects
Jemma Singleton- 3rd Year Undergraduate at Exeter University
I am a 3rd Year Undergraduate student, studying Archaeology at the University of Exeter. As one of my major modules I am undertaking a professional placement with Poltimore House. I have 2 main roles. One is to work on a field walking survey report. The field-walking exercise was conducted over 3 days between the 14th and 16th of September. I have already run a volunteer day, washing the vast array of objects/artefacts from those field walking days. I will subsequently categorise and identify them and eventually construct a report. The other aspect of my placement is to work on the website, keeping it ticking over and up to date. Quite the learning curve. Of Poltimore House itself, I am very intrigued as it is such an eclectic mix of projects. I am very excited to be involved with the Poltimore Landscapes project. On the volunteers page, I shall also be keeping a blog of my activities regarding Poltimore House.
Gemma Lissaman - 3rd Year Undergraduate at Exeter University
Hi, my name is Gemma Lissaman and I am a mature student in the third and final year of an archaeology degree at the University of Exeter. I was keen to get involved in the Poltimore Landscape Project because it provides a chance to put theory into practice and shows how the methods studied at University can and are applied in the real world. The location of Poltimore is also very convenient for me as it is close enough to home that it can easily fit around family life and means I don’t have to spend weeks away from my daughter just to be involved. So far I have taken part in the test pit excavation on the heritage open day, spent a few days doing the gradiometer survey with Ross Dean and later this month I will take part in the resistivity survey. As well as this I am carrying out an investigation into the ‘oriental’ water garden situated a short distance from the house as part of my dissertation. For this we have surveyed the remaining earth works (banks and ditches etc) using a total station (a machine that measures distances and angles both horizontally and vertically) to take the measurements and I am now creating a scaled plan of what remains. I will also research national trends in garden design so that I can compare this feature to fashions of the period.
Martin Baliey - Bournemouth University
I am a graduate of Bournemouth University where I studied Field Archaeology. I joined the Poltimore Community and Landscape Project in October 2010 and have been working on a survey of some of the trees in the garden and surrounding fields. The results of the survey will form the basis of an interactive map of the gardens. I have also been helping with the survey of the Chinese garden and assisting with some of the geophysical surveys.
Joseph Tort – Postgraduate in the MA Experimental Archaeology programme at University of Exeter
I am working with the Poltimore House Trust and the Landscape Project as part of the Professional Skills module of my Masters Programme. Since February 2012 I have been working with Penny Cunningham and Mike Jeffries on the Poltimore webpages and other aspects of the project dealing with the public presentation of this magnificent site. In collaboration with Penny and Mike I have helped produce a chronology of the Poltimore house, prepare the data from landscape surveys and record artefacts gathered from field walks and excavations on the Poltimore Estate. In the coming weeks I hope to continue to help develop the webpages, bring public attention to this awe inspiring building and emphasize the role it has played in local culture.
Hi, my name is Lucy Greenwood I am a mature student about to undertake the 3rd year of my Archaeology and Forensic Science Degree at Exeter University. I have been given the opportunity to work with the Poltimore landscapes project as part of my professional placement. Over the next couple of months I will be bringing all the finds together from the last few years of fieldwalking and excavation which has taken place at Poltimore House. Over the last week I have been marking each individual item found at Poltimore in order to get the objects ready to display. I will be creating an exhibit of all the objects along with help from local children and people in the community. Having taken part in some of the fieldwalking and excavations as well as compiling the report for the excavation carried out on the July open day (2012), it has been a privilege to now work with the collection as a whole and to see all the items discovered out of bags and now ready to be displayed. As well as the display I am also going to be making educational packs in which visitors to the house will be able to handle some of the finds and to learn how archaeologists identify the objects and to allow them to have a go at identifying some themselves. As the landscape project at Poltimore draws to a close, I have been given the honour of assembling together all of the archaeological finds which represent the many months of hard work and dedication given by all who have worked and volunteered in the project. With this we hope to leave behind something for future visitors to the house to view and to enable them to discover more about the objects and what they can tell us about the history of the land around Poltimore house.
Lucy Greenwood-University of Exeter
Hi, my name is Lucy Greenwood, I am a mature student about to undertake the 3rd year of my Archaeology and Forensic Science Degree at Exeter University.
I have been given the opportunity to work with the Poltimore landscapes project as part of my professional placement which is a module for my third year at Exeter..
Over the next couple of months I will be bringing all the finds together from the last few years of fieldwalking and excavation which has taken place at Poltimore House. Over the last week I have been marking each individual item found at Poltimore in order to get the objects ready to display. I will be creating an exhibit of all the objects along with help from local children and people in the community. Having taken part in some of the fieldwalking and excavations as well as compiling the report for the excavation carried out on the July open day (2012), it has been a privilege to now work with the collection as a whole and to see all the items discovered out of bags and now ready to be displayed. As well as the display I am also going to be making educational packs in which visitors to the house will be able to handle some of the finds and to learn how archaeologists identify the objects and to allow them to have a go at identifying some themselves.
As the landscape project at Poltimore draws to a close, I have been given the honour of assembling together all of the archaeological finds which represent the many months of hard work and dedication given by all who have worked and volunteered in the project. With this we hope to leave behind something for future visitors to the house to view and to enable them to discover more about the objects and what they can tell us about the history of the land around Poltimore House.