The Ipplepen project

About the research

Ipplepen, near Newton Abbot in Devon, is a multi-period site whose use extended from late prehistory through to the early medieval period. It was discovered by metal detectorists (Dennis Hewings and Jim Wills) who reported their discoveries to the Portable Antiquities Scheme (run by the British Museum) who contacted the County Archaeologist. Since 2010 the University of Exeter, the PAS/British Museum, Devon County Council, and Cotswold Archaeology have embarked upon a programme of survey and excavation that aimed to explore the nature of the site. Following a geophysical survey, a series of excavations have investigated different elements of the site including Middle-Late Iron Age occupation, a Romano-British road, settlement, and field system, and early medieval occupation and cemetery.

Project aims

Overall, the aims of the Ipplepen project are:

  1. to understand the character of the site at Ipplepen and hence the context of the large and unusual assemblage of metalwork reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
  2. to use Ipplepen as a case-study of how late prehistoric, Romano-British and early medieval communities exploited the Devon landscape
  3. to understand the origins of today’s historic landscape (the existing patterns of fields, roads and settlements)


The Ipplepen Project receives financial support from the University of Exeter, the Heritage Lottery Fund, British Museum, Portable Antiquities Scheme, Devon County Council, Teignbridge District Council, Roman Research Trust, Association for Roman Archaeology, and the Robinson Trust. Additional support includes a bequest by the late Mick Aston who was an Honorary Visiting Professor at the University. A fundraising appeal has also been launched – please find more information about the Ipplepen Excavation Appeal on our donate page.

Places on the dig

The project is the major training excavation for first year University of Exeter Students but, thanks to the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, we also offer  places for members of the local community as part of the Understanding Landscapes project.


Details of the Roman coin finds from Ipplepen are available on the Portable Antiquities Scheme website.